Cigar Nights: Conversation, Culture, and Cernovich


When friends Mike Cernovich, and Nestor Mendoza aka “The Mechanic” got together for a premium cigar and a drink after work one evening, the idea to hold their own social gathering emerged. “The cigar nights started off as a good way to meet people who enjoyed our work,” Mendoza explained. “It’s a new experience for a lot of the attendees and it gives them a memorable experience to smoke a cigar with the great and powerful Mike Bolen and Mike Cernovich.” They sought to include like-minded individuals who wanted to experience a relaxed, laid-back environment where socializing and networking was not only productive, but uncomplicated and nonchalant.

“It’s one of the highlights of my month and I’m very happy to be able to host them with my friends.”

Nestor Mendoza

Private lounges and clubs where smoking was not only acceptable but commonplace were quickly becoming a thing of the past. After strict smoking bans were enforced across the country, the fine art of cigar smoking was driven underground and rarely witnessed unless at personal gatherings or invite-only private clubs and events.

Cigar culture was originally portrayed on film and television as luxurious and sexy – something that beautiful, prestigious people enjoyed. Smoking a cigar was a status symbol of wealth and power among Hollywood actors, producers, and entertainment moguls. Cigar smoking is no longer revered as an elite-only experience, but rather a camradare of sorts has been established, often referred to as “the brotherhood of the leaf”. Unofficial members of the brotherhood share a common appreciation for the rich history, quality, and craftsmanship that goes into the manufacturing of cigars from leaf to the finished product.

Guests fly in from all over the world, purchasing their tickets well in advance of the event to secure travel details. “We hold cigar nights every 6-8 weeks in cities around the world. We’ve hosted events in Las Vegas, New York, Washington D.C., and Bucharest Romania,” Mendoza explained. Though there’s no strict dress code enforced to attend Cigar Nights, most people dress business casual. The events max out at 40 guests, so that the atmosphere and the conversations themselves remain intimate and engaging.

Mendoza described Cigar Night attendees as an amalgamation of individuals from all walks of life. “We host serial entrepreneurs, startup founders, real estate investors, political figures, lawyers, doctors, mechanics, students, and moms and dads.”

“It’s a welcoming vibe where everyone is very happy to hear your story and share theirs,” Mendoza added.

“Once upon a time in America a man could sit down with complete strangers and set aside the cares of the world.

Some men were CEOs, others were blue collar workers, and some of us were students. All were welcome and status did not matter.

Even women were welcome, and in fact the sight of a woman smoking a cigar was seen as a unicorn.”

Mike Cernovich, Cigars in Saigon

I asked Cernovich to name some of his favorite cigars, to which he replied, “I enjoy a wide range of cigars from Fuente sun-growns to Padrons. My all time favorite cigar is a Cohiba Siglo VI.”

“An Arturo fuente añejo, also known as the “shark”. The Arturo Fuente Añejo #77 is the rarest of the Añejo line. Only a limited amount are made a year making these bad boys difficult to find,” Mendoza replied when asked to name his all time favorite cigar.

There is no requirement to be a cigar smoking aficionado or to partake in cigar smoking at all to attend Cigar Night. “The cigars are there as an icebreaker and experience magnifier,” Mendoza explained. Some guests arrive at the event having never experienced cigar smoking and sample cigars for the first time. “We explain to them [guests] the different flavors of cigar and how to cut them and light them properly to get the most out of the experience,” Mendoza said. Others opt out of that aspect and simply enjoy the atmosphere with great music, delicious food, and stimulating conversations that last well into the night.

“Our events are also political free. Our motto for these events is ‘No hassles’. No one cares who you voted for, who you’re married to, or how much money you make. You attend our cigar nights to meet great, open-minded people in a drama-free environment,” Cernovich stated.

To learn more about upcoming events or to purchase tickets visit: The Cigar where you can sign up to receive information and receive daily newsletters.

Photo credit: @Bespokial

Like it? Share with your friends!