Sha’ron Lynn, owner of Aroma Cigar Lounge (Courtesy Photo)
Laurel, Maryland has its first ever establishment catering to professionals interested in socializing while smoking quality tobacco. With a successful soft opening in June, Aroma Cigar Lounge, 604 Main Street, will host its grand opening later this summer.
“It’s a very comfortable, elite, VIP setting, but all are welcome,” owner Sha’ron Lynn told the AFRO. “Aroma is a spot where everyone who smokes a cigar should come out and get a feel of the atmosphere, become a member of Aroma Cigar Lounge and grow with Aroma Cigar Lounge.”
Aroma Cigar Lounge in Laurel, MD. (Courtesy Photo)
Lynn began smoking cigars two years ago. “I enjoyed it when I was smoking and I was going through a little struggle in my life so it was a relaxing moment for me at that time. I just felt like, ‘Why am I traveling so far to go enjoy my cigar?,’” says Lynn, who has traveled to lounges in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Virginia, Delaware and New York. “That’s when I started thinking maybe I can do something here in the Laurel area.”
Now, she is the first African-American female owner of a cigar lounge. “I this is nothing that a woman can’t do and I said I’m going to put my feet into this, I’m going to do what I need to do,” says Lynn.
One of the biggest hurdles in opening the establishment was contesting city regulations. “Whenever you want to make a change in any community, there are some things that people give up and say it’s too much, they’re not going to let me do it,” says Lynn. “I already had 273 signatures before I went to present to the mayor. I was already a window up.”
With a few stipulations, the city council voted to amend a zoning law that prohibited this type of venue to exist. Lynn was also granted permission to sell flavored tobacco, hookahs, accessories and cigars, including Fuerza Cigars, a line that she started herself.
Sha’ron Lynn, owner of Aroma Cigar Lounge. (Courtesy Photo)
Lynn personally designed the lounge’s walls using picture frames, fabrics and leather. Patrons walk on ceramic floors and sit on black and chocolate leather furniture. Lounge amenities including a phone booth, shoe shining service, occasional barber, and a private cigar roller add special incentives for guests.
“I’m designing a leather belt wrapped bar by asking anyone who comes into the lounge to donate an old leather belt and carve their name in it,” says Lynn, giving customers, community members and local professionals a sense of ownership to the space.”
At the end of the day, it will take the Laurel community to be open to something new and help it thrive. “I may have gotten the building, but it’s not my home – it’s everybody’s home,” says Lynn.