Maybe it was because I was in town but the usual bright sunny demeanor of Pismo Beach CA was absent during my short stay. It was replaced with a moist fog that blanketed the rolling terrain and concealed the soft roar of the oceans waves behind a curtain of mystery and awe. I was welcomed by the weather and felt at home in the cool mist of the day.
I was searching for a place to kill some hours while I waited for my next set on the road. I had already had my fill of trick or treaters that pandered to the boardwalk businesses luring them in with the promise of technicolor sugar. Just off the main drag I was coaxed into a corner bar that was close enough to walk to but out of the way of the munchkins making their rounds.
As I pushed into the entry way of La Aroma De Havana, I expected to walk into a dim lit, musty, smoke filled dive. To my delight, I was way off the mark. The high ceilings and industrial ventilation promised that even with the potential smoke of a cigar bar, you would not be choked by the oily vapors emanating from your neighbor. Soft leather chairs filled the room instead of the usual booths and tables of a typical bar. I cozied up to the copper bar and took the rest of the room in. Industrial but not cold. A wall of nice wines and a decent list of microbrews on tap winked at me.
The purveyor of La Aroma greeted me with a warm hand shake and a soft accent. His greeting was not desperate or pandering. It was sincere and welcoming. It made me want to stay for a while and become a part of the scenery. I ordered a pint, being only a little disappointed at the lack of scotch and made my way to the glass cage that held in the wide selection of cigars to round out the full offerings of this establishment.
The rest of the afternoon was filled with light conversation, the consumption of a few lubricating pints and the soft draw of an oily but smooth smoking Maduro. Jazz played over the speakers and sports occupied the other patrons who had also sought refuge in this hideaway away from the beach and the giggling kids outside.
I left with the appreciative knowledge that my next visit to Pismo Beach would have to include another escape from the tourist laden sidewalks to this haven of class, tucked away, but not hidden, from the main drag of this busy tourist town.
I stepped from the musk of fine tobacco, back out into the thick air of the fog that veiled my exit and chauffeured me back to my gig to play the night away with my crew.
This review was provided without solicitation for La Aroma De Havana Cigar Bar & Lounge, Pismo Beach CA. John Dover is the writer of Johnny Scotch and professional musician based out of Portland OR. For more writing from John Dover, visit www.mythmachine.net, and http://johnnyscotchjustice.com