A Puff Above: Southerlands Cigar Lounge
The rich smell of cigar smoke hangs like a cloud in the air; the occasional puff drifts through the room. The smoky taste of a fine glass of bourbon hits your taste buds. Friendly conversation and the clink of glasses are accompanied by the soft tones of jazz music skipping through the air like a stone over a pond. That's the kind of atmosphere owners Wayne Southerland and Tiffany Fisher have created at their High Point cigar lounge, Southerlands Cigar Lounge.
Originally born in Louisiana, Wayne was raised in High Point and worked in the furniture industry prior to opening Southerlands. Wayne caught the inspiration to open a cigar lounge out of his love for two things: cigars and High Point.
“About five years ago, a couple of guys and I were out and we wanted to smoke a cigar, but there was really nowhere to go smoke because it was so cold out,” Wayne says. “I got to thinking, it’d be a good idea to have a cigar lounge where we can go, sit inside, and smoke a cigar.”
As time went on, the idea hung in the air like the robust aroma of cigar smoke. Having pitched the idea a few times, Wayne finally set his mind on making his dream a reality. As he began starting work on what would become Southerlands, he met Tiffany through mutual friends and family.
“We met through Wayne's brother and sister-in-law,” Tiffany laughs, looking across at Wayne in the leather chair next to her. Wayne smiles back with a roll of the eyes. “They had a gathering at their house and he came, and the next day he called me and asked me on a date.”
It didn't take long for the spark to form between Tiffany and Wayne, and their relationship also happened to be the spark Wayne needed to light a fire under his idea for a cigar lounge.
“Right around the time we met, I had made up my mind that I really wanted to do it, and she told me, ‘If that's what you really want to do, go for it,’” smiles Wayne.
And go for it they did. With friends advising him to “swing for the fences,” Wayne will be the first one to tell you he always gives 100% to the business. Following lots of hard work and dedication, Southerlands Cigar Lounge opened its doors to customers in June 2022. And with a classy yet relaxed atmosphere, Southerlands is the perfect place to smoke, drink, and unwind.
“We realized that here in High Point, people are looking for somewhere really nice to go,” Tiffany explains. “I love when people walk in and they are literally shocked at what they see on the other side of the door.”
On the other side of that door, you will find an open space, furnished with leather chairs and sofas for relaxing. Outfitted with a full bar and private rooms for rent by members, there’s plenty of space for anyone to make themselves comfortable. Custom-built ashtrays stud the space.
Wayne gestures to a jar on the smooth bar top, filled with crumpled cigar wrappers. Customers are encouraged to drop in the labels of the smokes they want to see offered at Southerlands. They are proud to offer a wide variety of cigars, providing a personal approach and frequently taking suggestions from customers.
“If I don’t have it, I can get it,” Wayne says, “and that’s how we’ve grown. Customers will come in to get a cigar and say, ‘We can’t get these anywhere else!’”
Wayne also works hard to be accessible to those less experienced cigar smokers. He frequently offers suggestions on ideal drink and cigar pairings for those just starting out their journey of cigar smoking.
“I always ask them, ‘What's your favorite drink?’” explains Wayne. “That helps me understand what they're going to want to smoke. If it's a sweet drink, like a Crown Apple, then you definitely want a cigar that has that sweeter taste to it. If you take a drink and then you take a pull of the cigar, the taste is going to be very compatible.”
In addition to high-quality cigars, the top priority for Wayne and Tiffany is to make their customers feel welcome. Offering annual memberships and daily drop-in rates, Southerlands' business model is built around constructing a community.
“We want our customer service to be the number one thing we're selling,” says Tiffany. “When somebody joins we literally say, ‘Welcome to our family.’ It’s a place to come and get a cigar and have a drink… but really the Southerlands experience is just coming in and feeling like you're at home.”
“We want the place to have a vibe where people can meet and mingle,” Wayne adds. “I'm kind of a social butterfly; I like to go around and talk to everybody. If you don't know anybody, you're going to know me because I'm going to talk to you!”
Along with fostering the community within Southerlands Cigar Lounge, Wayne and Tiffany are just as interested in helping the community outside of their walls. From supporting other small businesses to giving to a wide variety of High Point charities, Wayne and Tiffany have continued to find ways to pair their passion for cigars with their passion for service.
“We really want to open our doors and be known for not just being a place where you can go smoke a cigar, but for really being part of the community,” Tiffany says. “Wayne was raised here, so when we first started, he put his foot down and said, ‘It’s going to be here.’”
As someone who was brought up in High Point, helping build up the area’s small businesses is a top priority for Wayne. As their own establishment expands, Wayne and Tiffany want to be able to guide other small businesses where they can and help lay the groundwork for other small businesses like theirs.
“I'm an open book,” Wayne says. “I don't want to hold anything back. I feel like we, as business owners, should be able to help the next person to understand how hard it is. It is not easy, but here's the steps that you can take to do it.”
On top of supporting other small businesses, Wayne and Tiffany both have a desire to serve and give back to High Point by supporting a variety of needs our community faces.
Having lost family members to breast cancer, Wayne is passionate about raising awareness and money to support breast cancer research, so much so it inspired him to hold an event through Southerlands.
“With the breast cancer event, we were nervous about whether the people would embrace our desire to serve the community,” Tiffany explains. However, when turnout and support for the event far surpassed their expectations, Tiffany and Wayne were encouraged to keep up their efforts.
In addition to breast cancer research, Southerland’s hasn’t run out of ways to serve the High Point community – from offering men’s mental health roundtables to hosting charity golf tournaments, to holding Christmas toy drives. Southerlands has even been able gain a foothold with a surprising audience by holding women’s empowerment events, giving women in business a space to come together to network and support each other.
“Serving and giving is our heart and we want to build that into our business as much as we can,” Tiffany says.
“Southerlands is about everybody,” Wayne says, “and that's what we want to make sure we put out there. No matter what your background is, it's a place for grown people to come, sit down, and just relax.”
“Southerlands is about everybody... It's a place for grown people to come, sit down, and just relax.”
Wayne Southerland, Owner of Southerlands Cigar Lounge
Discover our High Points,
The HPD Team