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Shelly's Back Room, Cigar Lounge and American Pub with a Good Whiskey Selection, 13th & F Street at Metro Center Downtown

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My understanding is that the new DC smoking ban is crafted in such a way that Shelly's is the only establishment in town where smoking is permitted. Apparantly, they can include the revenue from those humidor/cigar lockers that line the east wall in whatever formula that is used to determine whether a place qualifies for the exception. I suppose another establishment could mimic Shelly's cigar locker motif and qualify.

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jpschust said:
Anyone know how the food is? I'm considering leasing a humidor there, but haven't ever eaten there.

I would characterize the food as basic bar food. Great wings and burgers. I've never had anything beyond the bar food. I go to sit on the sofas or easy chairs and smoke a cigar and sip a single malt.

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What about Ozio on M Street? They've advertized as a "cigar" bar since they moved to that location.

My understanding is that the new DC smoking ban is crafted in such a way that Shelly's is the only establishment in town where smoking is permitted.

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"Tobacco bars" are not subject to the smoking ban. The DC implementing legislation defines a "tobacco bar" as:

Quote
a restaurant, tavern, brew pub, club, or nightclub that generates 10% or more of its total annual revenue from the on-site sale of tobacco products, excluding sales from vending machines, or the rental of on-site humidors.

Apparantly, Shelly's can meet the 10% test by including the revenue from renting on-site humidors. Here is a link to the Act.

So, if you go into Shelly's make sure you buy a cigar from them, to help them remain "unique."

PS: I do not know if Ozio can meet the test. I doubt it because they don't have humidors for rent.

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Sandwich specials & daily specials always pretty good. My fav is the cuban sandwich. They have an excellent top shelf liquor program. Pretty much the "cigar tent" that the Govenator (Aaanold) said DC/white house should have. :o

Dave "we smoke em in the street in SF" Batista

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I had the steak the other day - NY Strip pretty good and large though pricey: $28, as I recall. Ozio also is exempt according to the guy at JRs.

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"Tobacco bars" are not subject to the smoking ban. The DC implementing legislation defines a "tobacco bar" as:Apparantly, Shelly's can meet the 10% test by including the revenue from renting on-site humidors. Here is a link to the Act.

So, if you go into Shelly's make sure you buy a cigar from them, to help them remain "unique."

PS: I do not know if Ozio can meet the test. I doubt it because they don't have humidors for rent.

I believe Ozio's is exempt - I was there a few weeks a go and there was a lot of smoking going on. The act exempts "tabacco bars" that are defined as receiving 10% or more of their annual revenue from on-site sale of tabacco products (excluding from vending machines) - not only the rental of on-site humidors.

Now, has anyone been to Aroma recently? Are they exempt? I don't believe so since they had stopped selling cigars a while back.

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Just to be clear:

Tobacco Sales + humidor rental revenue > 10% --> exempt tobacco bar

Tobacco Sales + humidor rental revenue < 10% --> covered by smoking ban

Establishments that do not have humidor rental revenue will have a harder time getting over the 10% threshold because they have to rely solely on tobacco sales. Ozio, because it does not have humidors, will have a harder time than Shelley's in meeting the 10% test. Also, the mayor has discretion to grant an exemption.

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Just to be clear:

Tobacco Sales + humidor rental revenue > 10% --> exempt tobacco bar

Tobacco Sales + humidor rental revenue < 10% --> covered by smoking ban

Establishments that do not have humidor rental revenue will have a harder time getting over the 10% threshold because they have to rely solely on tobacco sales. Ozio, because it does not have humidors, will have a harder time than Shelley's in meeting the 10% test. Also, the mayor has discretion to grant an exemption.

Ah, now I see what you meant by your earlier comment. Well Ozio must do quite well with their sale of cigars then.

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WWZ said:
Ah, now I see what you meant by your earlier comment. Well Ozio must do quite well with their sale of cigars then.

Either that or they have creative books and records.

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Either that or they have creative books and records.

$20 worth of free alcohol with the purchase of a $35 cigar anyone?

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wolverine said:
$20 worth of free alcohol with the purchase of a $35 cigar anyone?

That would be creative. But if I were in charge of auditing their claim of an exemption, I would call "bullshit" on such a maneuver. Is that reallly what they do?

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All items in POS (Point of Sale)systems are automatically "coded" to a specific category, food, sandwiches, dessets, tobacco, etc not only for tax purposes, but also for management tracking, labor costs, etc. Much easier to get away with is to "accidentally" code, hmm, say, tanguerray to tobacco sales, bob's your uncle, and you go from 9.7% sales to 10.2 %. Shelly's squeaked by without any fudging of the books due to locker sales AND they ring in their cigarette sales at the POS, not using an automatic ciggy machine (which can't check ID's). Anyhow, I think the mayor granted several exemptions to Shee-Sha bars (or Chi-Cha-a middle eastern pipe). Oh, and when the weather turns nicer, you can still smoke in outside sections, like roofs in Adams Morgan, or waterfront bars in GT and SW. OK, my dime is up.

Dave

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Doesn't Ozio's charge ridiculous amounts for bottles of booze? I seem to recall the bottle menu started at something like $180 for something you could buy for $20. If people go for that, they might buy a $200 cigar.

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That's for "bottle service." You get the booze plus the right to monopolize a table. Awesome. (yes, I'm being sarcastic)

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That's for "bottle service." You get the booze plus the right to monopolize a table. Awesome. (yes, I'm being sarcastic)

Not much of a stretch to buy a cigar plus the right to monopolize the table.

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Ugh...I've had exactly 2 late nights there, indulging in cigars and an ill-advised amount of whiskey.  Both ended with me being banished to the couch due to the lingering ambiance of my indulgences.

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On 6/5/2016 at 7:45 PM, JoshNE said:

Ugh...I've had exactly 2 late nights there, indulging in cigars and an ill-advised amount of whiskey.  Both ended with me being banished to the couch due to the lingering ambiance of my indulgences.

Ever since the smoking ban I feel like this place is even smokier and harder to handle than before (note: this could also be because I'm older and have less tolerance for smoky bars). My last trip there (a few weeks ago) I shed all of my clothes in the guest bedroom and had to shower because I was making myself sick. And I didn't smoke a single cigar. 

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On 6/4/2016 at 3:33 PM, DonRocks said:

Note the late hours for Shelly's Backroom, which definitely makes it into the Late-Night Restaurants section of our Dining Guide.

Note also the proximity to W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist: Screenshot 2016-06-05 at 15.35.00.png

Some quick notes:  Some of these places that show late night hours till 2 AM or so might not have their kitchens open till those hours.  I'd check from place to place.  Plenty of bars and clubs open to the wee hours but the kitchens close long before the bars close.   Of course some of the recent guests there can speak better to the dining availability and hours at Shelly's than me.  Haven't been there in a very long time...and I leave way before the witching hour.    

As to tobaccoists...Georgetowne Tobacco is now in its 52nd year....Same owner all those years, a native of DC.  Website  And here is a five year old story about the owner/founder  Besides tobacco products they have this wide variety of neat stuff.  Just neat stuff.....and you can purchase all their products through the web.

If the above sounds like an ad...it sort of is.  We were old friends.  Haven't seen him in a while.  Really great guy.  Fun store.  masks and walking sticks and all sorts of things...and tobacco products.

 

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Shelly's is one of those places you just can't find easily anymore; a smoke room with food/sports/spirits.  The interior dim, the smoke heavy and the food not bad.  The wings are a treat and perfect with a cold beverage and of course cigar.  Great place to meet up before or after a sporting event at VC, close enough to park and walk, and just far enough away, that most do not.  If you decide to visit, don't think you will get away with it - you will stink of cigar smoke at the game, train or ride home and for a day after you get home.  Their air circulation is one of the best, however with as many people in here smoking at one time, even without a roof, this place and its visitors would still stink.

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