Cigar shop and lounge opens in long-vacant Mount Prospect building
Mount Prospect cigar aficionados got their first whiff of the village's new downtown cigar bar last week, when Cigar Heaven held its grand opening at the former location of Prospect Bikes and Trains.
The store and lounge at 506 E. Northwest Highway is the vision of owner Michael Wasserman, a Des Plaines resident who previously operated a cigar shop in Northbrook.
"I wanted to get back into the cigar business," he said. "I tried to buy three cigar stores and I was always a day late and a dollar short. And then my wife and I said, 'Let's just do it ourselves.' So I started looking around."
Because of the building's age, converting the bike shop to a cigar bar posed a challenge for Hanover Park-based New Path Construction and Consulting, project manager Alexis Tracy said.
"The original plan was to come in and give it a little bit of a facelift. But we ended up upgrading the whole HVAC system, the whole electrical system. We repaired the roof," she said.
Wasserman said he was hands-on during the buildout.
"I'd be sitting right here in the store, watching them drive every nail, every screw, every bolt," he said.
Mount Prospect Mayor Paul Hoefert was among those attending the grand opening. He said it was obvious from the start that Wasserman knew the business.
"It was just going to be exactly how he wanted it. And he was going to take a building that had been empty for five years and turn it into a productive business that people can enjoy," Hoefert said.
The store features a humidor with a wide selection of cigars from about 400 different labels. There's also a separate smoking room with chairs and televisions, sealed off and screened from view by a wall of tinted glass.
Wasserman emphasized that Cigar Heaven is a cigar store, not a tobacco shop. There are no cigarettes or vaping products.
Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. However, Wasserman said, if the Chicago Bears are the late game on Sunday or the Monday night or Thursday night game, the store will head into overtime. The same applies to Connor Bedard and his ice mates, Blackhawks fan Wasserman said.
"I will stay until the end of the game. If it's a West Coast game and ends at midnight, I'll be here until midnight," he said.
Wasserman said he does not have a favorite cigar.
"I consider myself to be the true cigar smoker," he said. "And that means I don't limit myself to a brand. I don't limit myself to a size or a type of tobacco."