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    Categories: LegislationRetail

Smyrna, Ga. Approves Liquor Sales in Cigar Lounges (Update)

Head to a cigar shop in the Atlanta suburb of Smyrna, Ga., and you’ll soon be able to enjoy an adult beverage with your smoke, as on Tuesday the city council unanimously approved adding cigar specialty shops to the list of places that can obtain a liquor license.

In order to qualify for the new license, a cigar lounge must derive no more than 25 percent of its revenue from alcoholic beverages designed to be consumed on the premises and must get at least 40 percent of its revenue from the in-store sale of cigars and cigar-releated products.

Additionally, the store must carry “a variety of cigars from not less than 10 manufacturers or importers of cigars” and maintain an inventory of at least 1,000 cigars, which are to be kept in a mandatory walk-in humidor. The store must not have an interior floor area of more than 4,000-square-feet, and it must not sell or allow the use of vaping products, hookah, or glass and water pipes. Alcoholic beverages are also not allowed to be removed from the premises.

License holders will be able to sell from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Friday; 8 am through 11:45 p.m. on Saturday; and 12:30 p.m. through 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, provided the business has a Sunday permit for such sales from the city.

Additionally, new stores would have to maintain a distance of at least 600 feet from a school and 200 feet from a church, park, public building, library, or residence.

According to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the legislation was passed in order to facilitate the opening of such a cigar lounge in the city.

Smyrna is located approximately 15 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.

Update (Oct. 4, 2017) — Per AJC.com, the city has announced that the fee for the license will be $3,100 per year. Additionally, since pouring on Sundays must be accompanied by food service, cigar lounges will be prohibited from serving alcohol on Sundays.

This story was originally published on Sept. 7, 2017.

Patrick Lagreid: I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the Spring Training public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies, PA announcer for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, and PA announcer for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA. I'm also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice talent and writer, among other things. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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