Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar is Now Empire Social Lounge

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There is now one less Casa de Montecristo location in the U.S., as Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood has changed its name to Empire Social Lounge.

The lounge opened its doors in June 2016, becoming the second location for Prime Cigar Bar, joining a location in Boca Raton, Fla. that was opened in 2010 by Jason Reznik and Ryan Leeds. It was opened as part of a partnership with Tabacalera USA, which oversees the premium cigar division of Altadis U.S.A. and is part of Imperial Brands, plc.

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In August 2017, Imperial purchased the Boca Raton location, renaming it to Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar. The Miami location continued to operate independently following that sale.

Now, the store gets a new name and joins a second location in downtown Dadeland, which opened its doors in September under the leadership of Reznik, Leeds and Peter Bernstein.

In a press release, the retailer said that the change “brings an array of unique programing, promotions, and events that members as well as patrons can experience,” adding that guests of Empire Social Lounge Brickell and Downtown Dadeland will continue to experience the same “sophisticated relaxation” that was associated with the Prime Cigar brand.

The change came as the result of the agreement between Prime and Casa de Montecristo expiring, and the owners expressed their gratitude for the partnership with the Casa de Montecristo team.

The Miami location is a 4,700-square-foot space that offers a walk-in humidor, a bar that features a number of hard-to-find whiskies, a member’s lounge and private boardroom, as well as an 80-ton air conditioning system to constantly replace the air for a more pleasant experience.

Update (Oct. 22, 2020) — Brad Winstead, ceo of Casa de Montecristo, Inc. confirmed that the naming rights agreement between the two sides had expired in September. In a statement, he said that “Altadis USA is proud to still support Empire Social with its portfolio of brands including a great selection of Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta and H. Upmann cigars. Both Casa and AUSA wish them all the best in the growth and expansion of Empire Social.”

Image courtesy of Empire Social Lounge/Creativas PR.

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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 public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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