Zurich introduced smoking restrictions on all public places some years ago. I started my personal fight against (cigarette) smoking in the 90s when I learned to enjoy cigars. Savoring Cuban tobacco requires the proper setting: sit comfortably, watch (beautiful) people and have beautiful company.
Fast forward to the cold winter of 2013 in Zurich: walking along the Bleicherweg near Paradeplatz I saw the crowd queuing for clubbing. At first I overlooked it because clubbing is not for me. But then I realized: this was new. A luxurious restaurant in the basement along the river Sihl and a bar lounge upstairs.
I checked it out and then I became (almost) a regular on Saturday evenings. The Aura bar is a coin with two nice sides: a smoke free lounge and a fumoir. In the latter the humidor offers goodies like the Montecristo A: my kind of place. Creatively dressed people stream into the fumoir to take a break from the club (on the other side of the building) or to enjoy the cigar flavors, sitting as connoisseurs do, on the sofas.
To the smoke free lounge: it is, of course, full on Saturday evening and the female presence is quite intense. It gets packed. So if you wish to sit, come early. After 22:00, a free table is likely to have a little label ‘Reserved’ on it.
The furniture works well with the light and the music is at the right volume. Conversations are possible: my kind of place.