What makes a good cigar shop? Is it the selection? The price range? Both factors play a role, but as cigar enthusiast Steve Carl will tell you, it's a third, less tangible, attribute that elevates Empire Social above the rest. "What makes a good cigar shop is the vibe you get that right off the bat," Carl says. At Empire, he notes, "You can tell by how the leather of the chairs looks, you're gonna be comfortable. And they treat you like royalty." He is correct. As soon as you walk through the doors: the vibe. The dimmed lighting, the smoking-club atmosphere — you know you're in for a cigar experience. Someone asks whether you'd like to start with a cigar or pop over to the bar for a taste from the whiskey selection. The wide selection of the former arrayed in the humidor might appear daunting, but Empire's experts will guide you, helping you pick out the perfect smoke — or smokes — for the occasion or your flavor profile. A paid membership entitles you to discounts on cigars, spirits, and other merchandise, plus your own humidor locker. "My favorite thing is being able to relax in a very chill environment that takes the stress away," Carl sums up. In this, too, he is correct. Open Monday through Thursday noon to 2 a.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 3 a.m., and Sunday noon to 1 a.m.