Just a few miles west of the St. Louis Metro area, you can find an up-and-coming entertainment destination known by locals as the District. This hub of growing activity features a state-of-the-art Top Golf, numerous restaurants, shopping opportunities, a concert venue, and, of course, one of the best cigar lounges in the area, Lit Cigar Lounge.
In their current space, which opened to the public earlier this year, patrons can expect a truly fine cigar smoking experience, with a plethora of cigar options in their recently updated humidor, an expansive 5,000 square-foot lounge space with ample seating, a full bar with an impressive whiskey selection, and of course, a knowledgeable and hospitable staff eager to make you feel welcome.
Just this past September, Lit Cigar Lounge also began a collaboration with Luciano Cigars with the first-ever brand-sponsored cigar lounge, dubbed Luciano’s the Dreamer VIP Lounge. Owner and operator Bryan Snyder walked me through a brief history of Lit and how it became the premier cigar location for the St. Louis region.
“I always said that one day I would open a cigar lounge, and once my son moved away to college, I found myself at last with the opportunity to do just that,” begins Snyder. “I finally got my wife on board too, though completely unwillingly at first, but now she is fully invested in making this place a success.”
“We started with a modest 1,200 square-foot space here in the District with just a few facings in our humidor, and to be completely honest, we had no idea how well this idea would work. We had to tell all our vendors, please just trust us, we will eventually grow to a better buying level someday! We are very fortunate to have reps, particularly with Ashton and Oliva, that were patient and willing to let us start small to help make this lounge work in the early days.”
The original location for Lit would only last for about three weeks, as the owners of the complex would explain to Bryan that while they were successfully keeping their cigar smoke well isolated from the adjoining shops, their particular spot was the only spot in the District that shared the HVAC system with three neighboring shops (all of them clothing stores), and any time the AC would cycle on, these shops got a big dose of second-hand cigar smoke! Thankfully for the Snyders, their landlords had another spot available for Lit to take residence.
Shortly after this initial move, the COVID pandemic brought business to an abrupt lull, which also greatly affected the growth of the District in general. This temporary slowdown did not seem to phase Bryan much. As he explained, “I always knew that success for the District was coming and that it would eventually be a booming center of activity for the public. It was just a matter of time, and we were fortunate to have been able to secure our place before it exploded.”
Another integral part of Lit is Bryan’s son, Andrew, who, after returning from college, wanted to get into the cigar lounge business. “I will never forget that conversation we had when Andrew wanted to get into this. I told him, just to be clear, the job that you will be working here will NOT be general manager, I have other things that I want you to do around here. So don’t be expecting that to be your fallback. Well, fast forward just a few years and Andrew is basically running this place!”
Andrew truly is a rare find in the cigar world, in that he has both deep knowledge of the industry and the craft of cigars, while also remaining approachable, humble, and welcoming. “He truly is the cigar expert around here,” Bryan continued. “He has great business sense, he knows the market very well, and has great instincts for what our clientele will enjoy.”
Lit Cigar Lounge is a spot where one can find a truly great cigar experience, with frequent special events for cigars and spirits, a wide range of live music offerings in the lounge regularly, and a reliable haven for cigar lovers to congregate and relax.
The lounge is open to the public daily until 10 pm or later, and whether you are looking for a spot to catch up with a group of friends, unwind with a significant other, or just to kick back with a stick solo, Lit Cigar Lounge is a unique bastion well-equipped to serve all brothers of the leaf and keep you coming back.