The newest addition to the Phoenix cigar scene opened its doors to members of the media and invited guests on Thursday night as it prepares to give the Valley a venue typically reserved for New York and Los Angeles cigar enthusiasts.
The Napoleon Club is a 4,500 square foot venue in Old Town Scottsdale that offers members, guests and the public a place to enjoy a fine cigar along with a cocktail, beer or wine served by one of several very attractive waitresses in a luxurious environment.
Located at 7134 E. Stetson Drive, just west of Scottsdale Road, the space is swanky and posh, elegant without blatant extravagance that draws from a speakeasy background but with an elegance befitting its Old Town Scottsdale location.
General manager Scott Von led tours of the 4,500 square foot facility, which includes a 1,500 square foot members only space with a pool table, television and private balcony.
The Napoleon Club is rooted in memberships, Von noted, which are sold in three tiers — standard individual memberships, which cost $200 per month and come with a humidified storage locker, among other benefits; associate memberships, which cost $100 per month and don’t come with the locker; and corporate memberships, which cost $350, come with a locker, and can be shared among five people. The club will initially house just under 150 lockers in a room referred to as “the vault,” just off the main entrance to the club.
Von noted that the club already has 30 or so members with a week to go before its official grand opening.
Although the club is building itself through memberships, it will also be accessible via guest passes made available to area resorts, hotels and restaurants. The general public will also have access to the Napoleon Club, though it will be on a space-available basis, with priority for entrance given to members and those holding guest passes.
In the public area of the club, several booths line two of the club’s walls, while seating areas that accommodate groups of four to six people fill the middle of the floor and the other wall. One of the two outdoor balconies looks over the surrounding restaurants and northwest towards Camelback Mountain, while the other, larger area features a firepit and looks to the southeast over Old Town Scottsdale.
For those who really want to splurge and secure their place at the Napoleon Club, there is also the opportunity to purchase one of the club’s booths for $25,000, which guarantees the owner access to it for the duration of their membership. One such booth has already been purchased.
Live jazz will be featured on the weekends, with Von mentioning that more music will become a part of the club’s environment in the near future.
While there is no food menu, Von added that he is building relationships with some of the restaurants surrounding the club and can have food either delivered or picked up and brought in to the facility. However, he said that the club is the kind of place to head to after a nice dinner, not for one.
There is no doubt that the Napoleon Club has the potential to become the premier cigar smoker’s destination in the Phoenix area. What remains to be seen, however, and what has been the talk of several members of the cigar community in Phoenix, is whether the Napoleon Club will be able to satisfy Arizona’s requirement that 51% of its revenue come from tobacco and tobacco related products in order to preserve their ability to let customers smoke indoors. With a Class 06 liquor license that gives them the ability to sell beer, wine, and liquor, the combination of having a cigar and drink in a luxurious environment is certainly appealing, and it would be hard to fathom that the people behind the Napoleon Club would put as much time and money into the facility as they have if they were unsure of being able to satisfy a strict legal requirement. However, for those who are familiar with the laws, even at a very shallow level, the question of how the people behind the Napoleon Club are going to make it work remains and will only be answered over the course of the next few months.
What also remains to be seen will be the vibe the club will develop. While most cigar stores and lounges in the Phoenix area pride themselves on the ability to bring people of all backgrounds together over a shared love of the leaf to talk or bond over a common interest, the Napoleon Club seems to be catering to a crowd that prefers exclusivity with its cigars, whether it be via the membership fee, the limited access to the club or the seating arrangements that seem to favor smaller parties who will arrive together as opposed to individuals who drop by. While there is certainly a segment of the cigar smoking population who will prefer this, exactly how big that crowd is remains to be seen.
Either way, assuming the Napoleon Club can satisfy the necessary legal requirements to allow cigar aficionados and enthusiasts a place to enjoy their cigar, it figures to be an exciting addition to the Phoenix cigar landscape.
The Napoleon Club will be hosting an invite-only VIP opening event on Friday, January 28, with the official opening on Saturday, January 29th. Once open, the club will maintain regular hours of 1 pm – 1 am, Tuesday through Sunday, with the club closed on Mondays.
For more information about the Napoleon Club, including information on membership, visit their website at TheNapoleonClub.com, or call 480-970-7890.