Back in 2015, the New Orleans City Council passed a resolution banning smoking in all New Orleans bars. For some it was a death knell; others were more sanguine about the matter. Six months into the ban, a reporter interviewed bar owners and heard similar mixed reactions: some had observed a distinct slack in business, others not so much. There was a type of bar that definitely felt an uptick, whose business allowed at least one kind of smoking: cigars. Dos Jefes and a few other cigar bars were allowed to permit cigar smoking in their establishments. I had not been to Dos Jefes since the ban went into effect, and frankly I had not realized just how used to non-smoking I had become. If you go to Dos Jefes, be prepared: It is smoky, and not just a little. You can escape to the charming patio if you need a break (an irony, since the patio is the only place where smokers at other bars can go these days) but a heavy thunderstorm kept us inside. The air was thick with clouds of cigar smoke, and the pungent aroma was cut by another kind of smokiness: Scotch. Dos Jefe’s is a cigar and whiskey bar, specifically a Scotch whisky bar, and fans of that island’s creation can choose from a long list of its spirits. The decor matches the theme: Photographs of celebrities smoking cigars line the walls alongside numerous whiskey barrel tops.


Though not everyone there was smoking, most were. The room filled and the crowd got lively, especially once Joe Krown showed up to play his weekly set in this last bastion of a smoky New Orleans bar. Everyone settled in with their smokiness of choice: cigars, Scotch, or both.

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