This week I’m on a five city in six days circuit through Austria, Germany, and the UK. It’s a crazy week of conference rooms, taxis, trains and planes. However, being in a fantastic cigar-bar city like Vienna, I decided to steal away a couple of hours to relax.
If you’re not aware, Vienna is one of the few cities left which hasn’t degenerated cigar smoking to the ranks of pornography. Many exceptional bars can be found there that also allow cigar smoking. A simple search online will point you to a lot of options to choose from.
From my location, the nearest lounge was Krugers.
Kruger’s is at Krugerstrasse 5 (interestingly enough), right in the middle of a large retail shopping district in the heart of Vienna, and very close to the popular Café Mozart (which by the way, my colleague Michael Green insists has some of the best cakes in the world- and I trust him on that).
The bar area is divided in two by a glass wall, with smoking on one side of the glass and non-smokers can enjoy themselves on the other. Both areas feature bar furniture as well as large leather chairs and sofas.
Each seat on the smoking side of the bar has ashtrays with a cutter and box of stick matches. I believe you can bring your own cigars into the venue, which is fortunate because the on-site cigar menu is very limited. It’s exclusively Cuban (as most European lounges are), but there were only four labels, with two or three models each. My first choice was out of stock, which I thought was rather weak given the small selection offered. Service is quite friendly, but not exclusive. All the cutting and lighting is self-serve.
Kruger’s is said to be in the top 100 bars in the world, but frankly I raise an eyebrow to that. The selection of American whiskey is as limited as the cigar menu. There were only a handful of options, and those are considered lower-end in American bars. To be fair about that, it did seem I was the only straight whiskey drinker there that night, but my observation of the other drinks served didn’t make me take notice either. I did notice my favorite scotch at the bar (which most bars do not routinely carry), but even the scotch selection seemed limited. I didn’t see any draft beer of any kind (a personal pet peeve).
In short, Kruger’s is a very nice place to spend an hour or two with a smoke and a drink. It’s very easy to find and the service is friendly. My advice to improve the experience would be to bring your own sticks and plan to have mixed cocktails or coffee.