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When the owners of Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar set out to open a third location, a collaboration with cigar manufacturer Atladis USA called “Casa de Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar,” they had specific ideas in mind. Beyond their commitment to bringing an unparalleled offering of world class cigars and rare whiskey to Miami’s Bricknell neighborhood, they sought to take their concept in a new direction from the previous two locations in Boca Raton, Florida and Manalapan, New Jersey. They wanted a space designed with a slightly more contemporary feel to fit Miami’s rich culture and modernist architecture, and they were focused on establishing an atmosphere of sophisticated relaxation that would appeal to both men and women.

Overall interior design and selection of materials were fundamental to achieving the aesthetic goals for Casa de Montecristo, so the property owners enlisted interior designer Cindy Wilson of Cindy Wilson, Inc. to guide the process. Cindy was integral to the design of the Boca Raton location and had a great understanding of the direction for this unique Miami outpost.

“I originally designed [Prime Cigar’s] Boca Raton location several years ago,” explains Wilson. “Owners Ryan Leeds and Jason Reznik approached me to help them create a slightly more modern version of the business in Miami. Obviously, maintenance was a critical factor in all the design specifications, since this is a cigar bar. I felt that SpeakEasy porcelain tile was perfect for this project, both for its aesthetics and low maintenance qualities.”

While hardwood flooring may have seemed like a viable option for Casa de Montecristo because of its rich, warm look, the fact that hardwood is susceptible to burns from dropped cigars and ash made it a poor choice. Furthermore, maintenance in the long term could prove challenging with real wood flooring. With the specification of Crossville’s wood-look SpeakEasy collection, Wilson gave the cigar bar the desired foundational style with its classic, varied nuances of hardwood in the durable, time-tested format of porcelain tile that will need nothing more than mopping with a mild cleanser to maintain its stunning appearance for decades—a true value investment. It proved to be an ideal solution that captured the look and technical performance qualities this unique interior required.

What’s more, in addition to its innate beauty and strength, the twenty-first century material allows for a variety of installation methods. For Casa de Montecristo, Wilson chose a chevron pattern, which contributes greatly to modernizing the aesthetic of the space and creating an environment that feels style-forward and, thereby, more inclusive than a traditional “men’s club,” especially set in contrast to the sweeps of the decorative beams in the exposed ceiling. SpeakEasy is further highlighted by a wall of windows that flood Casa de Montecristo with natural light and reveal the material’s lush depth and convincing wood-inspired details.

Boasting a full bar, walk-in humidor, member lounge, private board room, and a vintage collector’s room, Casa de Montecristo is poised to be a Miami destination for years to come, and with Crossville’s SpeakEasy on the floors, the business owners can rest assured that the space with maintain the same inviting, warm appeal in the future that it has today.

  • Interior Designer: Cindy Wilson ASID, IIDA of Cindy Wilson, Inc., Boca Raton, FL
  • Architect: Juan Linares RWB-Linares Architecture, Boca Raton, FL
  • General Contractor: Concept Build, Miami
  • Distributor:  D&B Tile Distributors
  • Crossville Sales Representative: Robert Sutnick
  • Photographer: Dick Booth of Boca Publishing
  • Tile Product: SpeakEasy in Sweet Georgia Brown