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Federal Cigar

Portsmouth, NH


Built on the lower level of an 1800s-era building, the team took advantage of the stone and brick walls along with the warmth of the wooden beam ceiling to create Portsmouth's first cigar bar. Federal Cigar, which originally open in Portsmouth in 1921, now has a space to continue its long-standing tradition of being the local center of politics, current events and town business.


The design had to blend necessary bar equipment and mechanical venting technology with the historic conditions. Because the space was small and cramped, it was crucial to make the most of the entire space. The result is a club like setting reminiscent of the speakeasies of yesteryear. A collaborative planning effort and creative design helped hide filtration vents and pipes from plain sight. The result is a new fully-stocked lounge featuring booth-style seating, members-only lockers, flat screen televisions and a state-of-the-art filtration system—capable of a complete air exchange every 4.5 minutes. Clientele can enjoy more than 30 different scotches, whiskeys and bourbons or a wide selection of beer and wine, all while enjoying a well-rounded selection of cigars in a classic environment.