Sizzle and Smoke in Silom
“I hated cigars when I was a kid,” says Eddy Guerra, Vice President of Hathor Investment Group and a founder of the Whisgars brand. With good reason. Born in Miami to Cuban emigrants, Guerra’s childhood was ensconced in clouds of cigar smoke. His family worked in the industry. His grandfather puffed on five a day. It was only as he grew older that he began to appreciate the flavour of a good cigar. Then, he got into whisky. He discovered nuance, earthen tones, the depth of a single malt, the taste of peat imparted into a single cask whisky. Now, he looks after the four branches of his flagship, Whisgars, including its latest opening in Silom.
A speakeasy-themed lounge, the new Whisgars outlet adds another layer of polish to the already posh corner of Surasak and Silom. It’s an archetype of the Roaring Twenties. The portico leads to brick walls, amber light, and a handsome interior. Leather sofas, wrapped around low coffee tables, invite conversation. The vibe was designed to appeal to all makes and models: men and women, young and old, groups and individuals — one part cigar lounge, another part nightclub.
“About half of our clients are Thai. We get lots of groups of young women in here, too. This isn’t your dad’s cigar room,” says Guerra, who speaks of whisky the way a poet waxes lyrical of a moonlit lake. Whisgars, he says, works directly with select distilleries in Scotland, where it sources its premium single cask whiskies, most of which are limited batch and bottled in odd years. For an introduction to the complexities of the spirit, Guerra suggests ordering a flight, which introduces five top-shelf varieties: Lowland, Highlands, Japanese, Speyside, and Islay. The hand-rolled cigars are predominantly Nicaraguan and Dominican.
Each Whisgars branch is different. The original location on Sukhumvit 23 revamped a busy corner. The outlet in Mahatun Plaza — above La Monita and El Osito — was set up for the VIP crowd. This new location in Silom combines the best of both, with open floor space, as well as accoutrements like a red felt pool table and a smoke-free lounge with a secret entrance. Before a DJ takes the decks, the soundtrack runs the gamut of American rock and roll, from Springsteen to The Strokes. Below 13, a carved ice bar serving hand-crafted cocktails, adds to the overall flair.
Whisgars is a progressive take on two products often considered old and stuffy. Whisky and cigars aren’t just for your grandparents. They’re cool again.
981 Silom Rd (BTS Surasak) | 0 2630 1997
whisgars.com | 2pm to 2am