A Good Cigar, A Welcoming Community At Leaf And Barrel Cigar & Bourbon Lounge
Written by Kathy Witt
Here are a few truths about cigar smokers:
Cigar smokers are united in their passion for a good cigar.
Cigar smokers know no strangers.
Cigar smokers are a very welcoming community.
“Economic, racial and religious differences seem to disappear when two people are sharing a cigar,” said Larry Ledbetter, owner of the new Leaf and Barrel Cigar & Bourbon Lounge in Georgetown. “There are no strangers in a cigar lounge. You will find a warm welcome, every time.”
The vision for the Leaf and Barrel Cigar & Bourbon Lounge took root eight years ago. Larry dreamed of a place where cigar smokers could get together and enjoy their passion. In 2016, he and his wife, Jan, came close to purchasing a cigar lounge in Hilton Head, SC.
Luckily for Georgetown, that plan didn’t come to fruition, giving Larry the opportunity to begin working on a plan to create a cigar lounge from scratch.
In the meantime, 2020 rolled around, COVID hit, and Larry started building furniture. This led to his crossing paths with Charles Graves, the owner of Graves Lumber Yard, where Larry purchased supplies for his business.
“The Ledbetters and Charles and his wife, Joan, teamed up to form the partnership to make Leaf & Barrel Cigar and Bourbon Lounge a reality,” said Larry.
The cigar lounge opened first, in mid-February. The bar followed, opening at the end of March. Already, community is forming.
“Community is a huge part of any cigar lounge. People are forming friendships, regulars are coming in every day, sometimes multiple times a day.”
“Many people have come to the lounge having never smoked a cigar, and have quickly become regulars,” he added. “Husband and wives who came together and started sharing are now developing their own favorites.”
The interior of the lounge is relaxed, open and airy, with groupings of cushy leather sofas and oversized chairs scattered about a concrete floor cozied up with rugs, a smattering of flatscreen TVs and the bourbon bar anchoring the space.
“Cigar smokers like to have a warm place to smoke in the winter and a cool place in the summer,” said Larry.
All pair perfectly with the bar’s bourbon selections—currently numbering 30 and growing weekly—and a visit to Georgetown.
The brands in Leaf and Barrel’s humidor are constantly growing. In addition to well-known brands like Fuente and Oliva, the cigar bar carries many boutique brands.
“Boutique brands produce less than a million cigars annually,” said Larry. “This wide variety allows our customers a great range of products.”
Membership is not a requirement to smoke in the Leaf & Barrel’s lounge, although membership is offered for one of the 48 humidified lockers for storing cigars. Members also receive a variety of discounts, including 10 percent off cigars every day and 15 percent off boxes, plus a $200 humidor credit. This allows patrons to get the cigars to fill their locker.
“Every day is a perfect day for a cigar,” says Larry. “Sometimes it’s a stop-in and smoke after work; sometimes it’s a buy-and-go-home to smoke later in the day.
“On Saturdays we have live music so that has been a big draw as well.”
So come on in for a good cigar paired with a fine Kentucky bourbon. Share in the conversation, find new friends and join one very welcoming community.
Find events on Leaf and Barrel’s Facebook page. For more information, call 502-642-8044.
Author: Kathy Witt
Kathryn Witt is an award-winning travel and lifestyle writer, syndicated columnist and author of several books, including Secret Cincinnati, The Secret of the Belles and Atlanta Georgia: A Photographic Portrait. A member of SATW, Authors Guild and the Society of Children’s Books & Illustrators, she lives in northern Kentucky.