New cigar bar Burn by Rocky Patel opened on Pittsburgh’s North Shore last weekend, but an HVAC issue has snuffed out smoking inside until repairs can be made.
Smoking was permitted Friday as part of the bar’s VIP grand opening. But, as of Saturday morning, the company posted about the issue: “Our HVAC ventilation system was not performing properly, causing us to close our humidor for the evening.” The lounge stayed open for food and drinks, and smoking is permitted on the outside patio.
The HVAC issue is being fixed and “should be done any day now,” the lounge’s marketing director, Bethany Vietmeier, said today.
The HVAC system is intended to suck smoke out of the 7,000-square-foot venue before it fills the air, she said.
“The goal is to have the best system in the country, where anybody who leaves will not even smell the smoke on their hair or clothing,” she said.
The cigar lounge shares a building along North Shore Drive with Burgatory, Tequila Cowboy, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and an office for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Asked about issues with ventilation in the building, Post-Gazette Vice President Lisa Hurm said, “We are working with Continental on the resolution of this issue and have no further comment at this time,” referring to Continental Real Estate Company.
Neither Continental nor the Steelers communications office responded to a request for comment.
Burn joins Pittsburgh’s cigar lounge scene with Blend Bar with Davidoff Cigars located Downtown and Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar in the Strip District.
The Pittsburgh iteration of the cigar lounge is the second Burn by Rocky Patel location, following its debut in Naples, Fla. three years ago. The chain is set to expand next to Oklahoma City and then Atlanta.
The space is designed as a lounge — rather than a dining room — but has a dining menu featuring pizza, pasta, salad, fish and charcuterie, along with a full bar menu.
Designed by the Washington, D.C.-based Swatchroom, the decor is centered around a central focal point of a candle wall with a glass front that peeks into the humidor where cigars are sold. It also includes nods to Pittsburgh with its steel and copper tones.
“They’re really trying to promote the luxury lifestyle — the decor is over the top,” Vietmeier said.
Cigar Aficionado calls Patel “one of the best-known faces in the world of premium cigars.”
The humidor is packed with cigar options starting at $6. Rocky Patel brand cigars take center stage, naturally, but a few other cigar vendors are for sale, as well. An on-site humidor manager can provide guidance.
For now, those cigars will have to be taken outside to light up.
“Fortunately, we have a beautiful weekend coming up,” Vietmeier said, “so I think the patio is going to be packed.”