During last night’s meeting of Conshohocken’s Borough Council there was a presentation of a cigar lounge, Cigar Republic, by its owner, Joe Giorno, and an engineer.
Cigar Republic, which has locations in New York and Connecticut, would operate on the second floor of the building where Tierra Caliente is located. Giorno and his partners are buying the building.
Tierra Caliente would manage the food and beverage service for the Cigar Lounge. The lounge would be high-end and be open during normal business hours for a restaurant. Plans include improving the outside facade of the entire building. Future plans could include a rooftop deck.
Cigar Republic was before Borough Council for two reasons. First it needed a waiver of off-street parking, which it received by a 6-0 (Council Member Anita Barton was absent).
Second, Cigar Republic sought the recommendation of Borough Council for its hearing before the Zoning Hearing Board on June 17th. This hearing involves Cigar Republic’s plan to purchase the house on Forrest Street directly behind the building. The house would be knocked down and a parking lot consisting of 17 spaces would be created. Borough Council voted 6-0 to not offer a recommendation of support or send a letter of non-support to the Zoning Hearing Board.
Several neighbors from Forrest Street and West 2nd Avenue were in attendance and voiced concerns. The big concerns were parking, noise (especially if there a rooftop deck), smoke, increased traffic on the street (especially involving those who have been drinking) and storm water management.
So as of now, the cigar lounge is approved to open. The zoning process it is undertaking involving the house/parking lot is optional on its part because it wants dedicated parking for its clients.
More to come.
Photo: Initial rendering of space from owner’s architect.