Rolando’s Cigar Lounge is a place where people pause and enjoy leisure time with friends.
A glass of wine or beer, and if desired, a hand-rolled cigar, awaits.
In the evening, a disc jockey plays music for listening and dancing, from salsa to jazz.
There are friendly games of pool or billiards, too. And, on football nights, a flat screen television is on view.
On some occasions, there might be a sighting of Stogie, the family dog and mascot for owner Rolando Reyes Jr.
The lounge is a transformation from the Quaker Bar that shut down last year in downtown Dade City. Reyes knew he wanted the spot immediately.
“I didn’t ever hesitate. It’s a trendy place,” he said.
The lounge, at 37945 Meridian Ave., is near Kafe Kokopelli, and across from the Historic Dade City Courthouse.
Reyes brings a family legacy to the lounge.
His late father, Rolando Reyes Sr., began learning the cigar business as a young boy in Cuba. He immigrated to the United States in the late 1960s, and opened a small cigar factory in New Jersey. He moved the factory at other times to Miami and Honduras. At his death in 2012, he was a master blender known for two brands, Cuba Alliados and Puros Indios, according to an article in “Cigar Aficionados.”
The junior Reyes learned the skill of cigar rolling also as a young boy. For several years he operated Smoker’s Paradise, a tobacco shop in Wesley Chapel.
He moved his family to Dade City when he opened Rolando’s Cigar Lounge. A ribbon cutting, hosted by the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, was held on Nov. 14.
Reyes is looking ahead to having a full liquor license. For now, he serves beer and wine.
He plans to change up the music nightly. Friday will be disco and Saturday will be salsa.
If anyone doesn’t know salsa, Reyes said, “I’ll be teaching people.”
Sundays will be for softer music, much like a piano bar. Reyes also is thinking of adding line dancing and karaoke nights, and Thursday will be ladies night.
Reyes sees familiar faces from Dade City, but he said customers also are coming from Lutz, Land O’ Lakes and even Port Richey.
His lounge primarily caters to people in the mid-range of ages, from 30 to 50.
“They can’t find a place to go,” Reyes said. “It’s either too loud or too fast.”
But, Rolando’s could be just the spot.
“There is nothing like what I’m doing,” Reyes said.
Published December 2, 2015