A whiskey and cigar lounge arriving on Gastonia’s main avenue is getting some downtown thrusters excited.
The WhiskGars Cigar and Whiskey Lounge is expected to open by the end of February near the intersection of South Street and Main Avenue, according to owner Jacob Hibberts.
“We see this corner as the Rolls-Royce of Gastonia, and we want to help set a new standard for business coming to the area with WhiskGars,” said property developer Tom McPhaul.
The 90-year-old building, located at 190 W. Main Ave., functioned as Gastonia’s main post office before the 1930s and later functioned as Pollock’s Shoes and Diana Shops.
But an upscale private whiskey and cigar lounge represents a continuing resurgence for a downtown area where new apartments and restaurants are already arriving.
“We want to invite other businesses to this area to network because that’s how you build a community and that’s what we want to do here,” said McPhaul from downtown Gastonia.
WhiskGars will be within walking distance of the Center City Crossing apartments, which are due for completion in late 2023, a new retail space and condominiums, and a newly opened Mangiamo Italian restaurant.
The ’40s and ’50s-themed lounge features leather sofas and chairs, a 3,000-square-foot cocktail room that seats about 80 people, and a full bar with a 36-foot granite bar.
A smoking area features an oversized photograph of former President John F. Kennedy smoking a cigar, porcelain tiles, leather furniture, and a cellar where people can buy cigarettes.
WhiskGars will serve patrons platters of charcuterie and shrimp cocktails, as well as a full dessert menu.
The dual lounge option allows customers to visit WhiskGars and not be disturbed by cigar smoke, but still allow them to network, said owner Jacob Hibberts of Gastonia.
“Some people don’t smoke cigars and I understand that, which is why the front room is non-smoking,” Hibberts said. “I want people to feel comfortable, have a good time and not worry about anything.”
A separate ventilation system and HVAC systems between the two living rooms will help reduce smoke migration, he said.
The back rooms include approximately 2,500 square feet for the cigar lounge, VIP room and cellar where customers can purchase and smoke cigars.
The cigar lounge can accommodate approximately 40 people and the VIP room will accommodate approximately 20 people.
“No one has to worry about getting up for a drink because we’ll have cocktail servers walking around,” Hibberts said.
Hibberts, 24, was inspired to open the cigar lounge five years ago when he started smoking cigars with his father, who also owns Gastonia-based Progressive Machine Works.
“I probably visited 100 cigar lounges across the United States before starting this one,” Hibberts said. “I saw a lot of them only had the cigar part, but I wanted to give people the best of both worlds with the cocktail bar.”
Guests of WhiskGars can expect live jazz music on the weekends and special events throughout the year like a Kentucky Derby night, Gatsby themed parties and event events. wine and cheese pairing, Hibberts said.
“I want it to be laid back, cool and chic,” Hibberts said. “It’s a place where people can hold their business meetings and relax with friends and family.”
Daily entry to the lounge costs $10 and allows guests to experience the cigar, cocktail, and humidor areas.
Annual, or “Silver,” membership costs $50 and lifetime membership costs $500. Both memberships allow customers to experience the cigar and cocktail lounges and the humidor area.
VIP, or “Diamond,” membership costs $1,500 and grants customers access to the VIP cigar lounge, a personal humidor cigar locker, discounts on purchases, and priority access to lounge events. .
Only 75 places are available for VIP membership and half of the places are already sold out.
Contact Janiya Winchester at 704-869-1842 or email@example.com.