New upscale cigar lounge opens in downtown Macon

This story was originally published by The Telegraph.

Offering fine cigars, top-shelf liquors and chef-driven dishes, an upscale cigar lounge is now open in downtown Macon.

Churchills on Cherry is owned by Bruce Riggins and his son, Nicholas “Nick” Riggins, who holds a minority stake in the business. The new spot at 557 Cherry St. is on the second floor above Cherry Street Hookah.

Credit: Jason Vorhees

Credit: Jason Vorhees

“I really, really like downtown, and I wanted to bring something to people that I think they can enjoy — especially something nice,” Bruce Riggins said.

An affection for downtown

Riggins’ affection for downtown Macon began as a boy visiting his father’s barbershop.

The late Cicero Riggins had various locations downtown as his business grew from a barbershop to a full service hair salon, the Beautyland Style Shop. He also started a moving business with two trucks. When Bruce Riggins took over the moving company after his father’s death, he renamed it Ciceros’ Moving & Storage in honor of his dad.

As moving jobs sent him to various places such as Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles, Riggins said he would take the opportunity to visit with nearby friends who introduced him to cigar lounges.

Credit: Jason Vorhees

Credit: Jason Vorhees

He also created a space in the basement of his Macon home for friends and family that he calls Tic Toc North, a nod to the old Tic Tom Room in downtown Macon that he once frequented.

Those experiences led to the idea for Churchills on Cherry.

The cigar lounge

The large space offers lounge-style seating in comfortable leather sofas and chairs arranged in such a way to create intimate nooks for socializing with friends.

The cigars are kept in a large humidor, a 10-by-10 room with a 13-foot ceiling, to maintain the right humidity to keep them from getting too dry or too wet, Riggins said.

The interior space includes a long bar and a full-service kitchen with a limited menu initially. The lounge also has a back patio complete with lounge chairs, a fireplace and a large TV screen.

Credit: Jason Vorhees

Credit: Jason Vorhees

The new spot initially will be open at night from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday and from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. He expects to expand hours in the future to six nights a week and add a Sunday buffet once to twice a month. He might even add a restaurant on the first floor down the road.

“That’s something I’m thinking about,” Riggins said. “It depends on the volume upstairs. We’re really doing a great volume on the restaurant upstairs.

“The food is just phenomenal up there. So if it grows enough and I decide, I’ll speak with the tenant to see what I can do to help him out and build out the place downstairs.”

ExploreDine, drink and savor cigars at Cam Newton’s Fellaship in Castleberry Hill

The lounge also offers membership options that include perks like invites to private events such as bourbon tasting or cigar rolling and discounts on purchases, Riggins said.

Also, Riggins said he plans to offer individual lockers on a first-come, first-serve basis for members where they may store their cigars and liquor purchased at the lounge.

Credit: Jason Vorhees

Credit: Jason Vorhees

“There’s a sense of pride in something that I’m bringing to the city — a great establishment — to add to the downtown growth, and then, you know, it’s another step into maybe duplicating somewhere else,” he said.

Newtown Macon

The business has been long anticipated, having been a featured stop on NewTown Macon’s Tour of Progress in 2021 while under development.

In partnership with his son, and with the help of a loan from NewTown Macon, Riggins purchased the building with the plan “to transform the second story into an oasis for cigar connoisseurs,” according to NewTown Macon.

His son participated in NewTown Macon’s Developer’s Academy, “which provided him with the training and skills needed to build out the former vacant space on the upper floor of this building,” according to NewTown Macon.

Credit: The Telegraph

Credit: The Telegraph


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