Smack up against a KO boxing gym, Churchill’s confides clubby smoke, strong beer, and open bottles of port and California reds, waiting for the pour. Other than the house pale ale and the ubiquitous Stella, all the other taps were of local root. Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter and Green Flash Imperial IPA are tried companions to scores of cigar craft.
I ordered the house special: Churchill shaggy wrap cigar (double toro-sized) and a pint of Churchill pale ale for $9.95. The cigar was of mild to medium strength and the smoke tasted of cocoa brownie, autumn leaf mulch, and toasted anise seed. The pale ale was a solid companion to my 90 minutes of cigar pleasure.
I peruse the humidor, claimed as the most extensive in San Diego, dreaming of the leaf-wrapped smoke that might close an evening of fine dining in neighboring La Jolla. My knowledge of the cigar kingdom is weak, but the staff is well-versed in all things Pan-American or candela or figurado.
A lively, talkative crowd sit at the tables opposite the bar, sometimes calling out across the room. Yes, this crowd WILL talk religion and politics. And some generic bullshit that is part of the ritual of group cigar talk. Yet there is equitable space to contemplate a draft and/or smoke at the corner “writer’s table” or the plush chaise in the back of the room. The humidor is lavish and the staff cordial with their help in selection. A small back patio and posh bathroom round out the facility.
Drinking pleasures abound: three Stone Bastards, and three sundry Firestone Jacks are amongst the bombers on the shelf. The whole Chimay line is represented. There is certainly enough on deck here to while away the hours: a perfect concord of earthy, spicy smoke, malt and hops.
Two of life’s great pleasures in one afternoon or evening. Churchill provides an unhurried haven to release all your frisky hipster runoff. Bring your best cigar-smoking friend, bring a laptop. Bring your best self. Sit back. Enjoy.