It’s 4 a.m. in Miami. Nightclubs have emptied out, hot girls have made their decisions, and South Beach is shutting down. But you don’t care. You’ve already made your way to E11even Miami, a classier-than-it-sounds strip club/restaurant/hookah bar that literally never closes and peaks right about now—loading up with an action-hungry, after-hours crowd. While “All About That Bass” blasts across the club, you try tracking the number of flesh-baring girls but keep losing count. Meanwhile, a guy just dropped your $100 Opus X cigar into a dish of brandy.
If you’re lucky—and tonight, surely you will be—that guy is Rick Bard, the dapper general manager at E11even. He has devised a boozy way of making a good cigar great and a great cigar fantastic. It involves premium cognac, fire, and a bit of dexterity. He lights the cognac, rolls the cigar through a blue flame, and somehow manages not to burn the stogie or his fingers or to soak the damned thing. The result is an enhanced smoke that burns slow and tastes mellow. “People like the presentation, but they love the cigars,” says Bard, who stumbled across this technique after watching a Frenchman dip his smoke into a snifter of Remy Martin. Ticking off a following that includes Charles Barkley, rapper Scarface, and comic Kevin Hart, Bard adds, “Even some of the dancers love my cigars. Two girls in the club are really into them.”
Photos by @11Miami