Home / Features / Business / Up in Smoke
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Up in Smoke


Club Macanudo caters to cigar lovers at Margaritaville.

Club Macanudo is only the third in the world

We were really excited to bring these partners together and to put this in place in Shreveport-Bossier,” says Joe Salpietra, who with his partner, Matthew St. Amant, officially launched their new cigar lounge in mid-February in the Margaritaville Casino and Resort.

The lounge is called Club Macanudo. Penn Entertainment, the owners of Margaritaville, formed a business relationship with Salpietra and St. Amant’s Southern Smoke Cigar Company to operate only the third Club Macanudo in the world in their resort.

According to Salpietra, this is the first opening of a Club Macanudo in the United States in over 20 years. The first was opened in New York’s Times Square. Another is located in Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia.

“The idea that we could get them to come and open this lounge here as part of the Club Macanudo brand was a coup for this area,” Salpietra said. “Bringing in such a leading legacy brand, and the third one they opened in the world, first one in a casino resort environment, is right here with us in Margaritaville.”

Joe Salpietra (above) and his partner, Matthew St. Amant, have opened their new cigar lounge at Margaritaville.

In a release announcing the opening, Daniel Ihm, senior vice president and general manager of Margaritaville Resort Casino says, “We are excited to partner with Southern Smoke Cigar Company, a locally owned and operated business, and Scandinavian Tobacco Group, a global leader in the premium cigar space. This partnership and opening of the Club Macanudo cigar lounge enhances our best-in-class casino resort and provides another dimension of in-property relaxation for Margaritaville Resort Casino guests and adult consumers in the Shreveport/Bossier City market to enjoy.”

If you haven’t tried it yet, Salpietra recommends it highly. “If you’re looking for a relaxing place to have a good conversation, they ought to come try it out. We’d like you to come in and either buy a beverage or smoke a cigar here, but it’s not a requirement. The space and the environment itself will speak for itself once they get in here.”

The ladies might naturally worry about the lingering aroma of tobacco. Salpietra offers solace. “They don’t want to go into a place and leave an hour later and their clothes smell, their hair smells, and they can’t go anywhere else. My wife made me make a commitment to her that she had to be able to sit in here and the next day pick up her clothes and make sure they don’t smell like an ashtray.”

Since they opened, some local female regulars have even begun having a sort of girls’ night out at Club Macanudo. If they’re not into tobacco, there are other options. “People can come in here, whether they’re a smoker or not, and have cocktails, have a conversation, and the non-smokers are not having an issue with the environment. It’s open to anyone who wants to come in here, to enjoy the music, to enjoy a cigar, enjoy a beverage. It’s just a comfortable, relaxing environment. It’s not a bar crowd. It’s a club/lounge crowd that will take people to someplace they don’t get to go to all the time.” Salpietra adds that it’s not your average corner bar, and visitors have told him they don’t feel like they’re still in Shreveport/Bossier when they drop in.

“We’ve been surprised about how many regulars are coming here,” he says. “We’re still working with the team at Margaritaville getting their patrons introduced to the club that are visitors to the area. We’ve been really pleased with the early results.”

And the patrons report they are pleased, too, Salpietra says. He adds that if you’ve never been to a cigar lounge, you should drop in to Club Macanudo and give it a try. “You’ll not be disappointed.”


The Forum News