Ogle County News

Cigar lounge offers stogies with a great view

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A game on the tube, your favorite brew, a view of the river and a good cigar. What could be better?

Not much, says Barry Skinner, who opened Bad Ash Cigars lounge Jan. 5 at 114 N. River Road, the former home of Rock River Outfitters.

“I’ve been wanting to do it for about 10 years,” said Skinner, 59, of Mt. Morris.

He’s visited several cigar shops around the country.

“Whenever I travel to a new place, the first thing I do is seek out a cigar shop,” he said,

Skinner also knows his stogies. He worked at a cigar shop in Wheaton for about a year.

He’s knowledgeable about different blends and flavors, and so can guide questioning customers through his stock of 150 to 160 varieties.

Prices range from $3.50 to $15 per cigar, although the average price is about $8, Skinner said.

First responders, military members, veterans, and seniors get a discount.

Skinner has no intention of turning the lounge into a bar, but patrons are invited to bring their own beer or liquor.

Those who rent lockers to store their libations also get a discount on cigars.

Skinner also plans to offer six or seven brands of pipe tobacco, for those who prefer the pipe, and will sell bait and tackle and hunting and fishing licenses when spring rolls around.

That’s also when the deck, with the killer view of the Rock River, will open.

Dan Houston, 55, of Stillman Valley, heard about Bad Ash and has visited several times already.

“This is the kind of lounge we just don’t have around here,” Houston said Saturday, on his third visit.

Ian Soderling, 28, of Rockford, said he comes for the atmosphere, and to watch games on TV.

“Once football is done, I’ll still come here for whatever sport is on,” he said.