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Craig McEwen, Published June 30 2009

New JT Cigarro, Ultra Lounge open in south Fargo

For months passers-by wondered what the ski-jump-shaped building at 4554 7th Ave. S., Fargo, was going to be.

It’s JT Cigarro’s new digs, including main-floor bar and cigar store and second-story SKKY Bar Ultra Lounge and rooftop smoking deck.

“We’ve heard everything from a movie theater to a bank,” said Dana Coulter, JT Cigarro owner, about what people thought the building was going to be.

The new 5,700-square-foot, multi-level bar and tobacco store is plush with leather seating, mahogany furnishings, paintings, murals, blackjack tables and big-screen TVs. Total customer capacity is about 280, Coulter said.

The main-floor retail tobacco humidor offers 400 types of cigars shipped from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Mexico.

An adjacent smoking room contains blackjack and poker tables and humidified lockers in which customers can store smoking supplies.

“Basically, it’s just an area where you can come in and enjoy a fine cigar,” said Coulter. “We’ve got blackjack in here and poker night three nights a week. (Monday, Tuesday and Saturday afternoon).”

The building design has an international flair. “I’ve been traveling overseas for a few years. Every time I saw something in a bar I liked I made a note of it,” said Coulter. “So basically the design has come from all over the world.”

The main-floor atmosphere is very similar to the previous JT Cigarro that Coulter opened a block away in November 1998, he said.

“You felt like you were in somebody’s basement. We definitely didn’t want to lose that,” said Ryan Beckman, general manager.

The upper SKKY Bar and Ultra Lounge, open Wednesday through Saturday, is for customers who want to relax in comfort with friends and associates, Coulter said.

Its loftlike, tiered seating allows customers to view the first-floor stage, which offers live entertainment Tuesday, Thursday and weekends and karaoke Wednesday and Sunday.

The second floor offers VIP custom seating for 20 people. It will also accommodate special events. “We’ve already had a ton of requests for private parties,” Coulter said.

The new store employs 26 people, about 12 of them new hires, he said.

JT Cigarro is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 2 a.m. Sunday

The business can be reached at (701) 277-0711. The Web site jtcigarro.com is expected to be launched soon, Beckman said.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502