Kaye Barnes, the cigar smoker that never sits still. I’m always on the go, since traveling is not only a part of my job but also a hobby.
I was born and raised in Oklahoma, I’ve lived all over the world. I currently reside in Florida, but also call Colorado and Georgia home depending on the time of year. I am the Black Girls Social Club Co-President for the Tampa Bay Chapter, a member of the Classy Living Society, co-founder of the Worldwide Women’s Cigar Association, as well as a board member for Atlanta Cigar Week.
All the things I’m involved in are centered around a community and culture that brings people together.
When did you fall in love with cigars?
I fell in love with cigars during the many summers I spent on the front porch with my grandfather as he’d puff away, and the billows of fragrant smoke filled the evening air. But the first time I enjoyed a cigar was the day I graduated from college and my cousin handed me a stick to celebrate, a Romeo y Julieta 1875. He told me having a degree will get me in the door, having a knowledge of cigars will get me the deal. And I must say I’ve met some pretty amazing people over the years smoking cigars. Now my all-time favorite cigar is the Fuente 858 Candela. Its light green wrapper holds a 45–60-minute experience you won’t soon forget.
Where are your favorite places to smoke in Atlanta?
Being that Florida is my primary residence and Ybor City is in my backyard, I’d have to say La Farona and King Corona Cigar lounges are my favorite spots at home. But when I’m in Atlanta I don’t have one favorite location. I’m a solo smoker so my go-to spots are places that are female friendly with great drinks and ambiance. My go-to spots are Cigar Cellar in Kennesaw, Cigar City Club on Roswell Road, Davidoff in Buckhead, BURN by Rocky Patel at the Battery, Fellaship near Mercedes Benz Stadium and Red Phone Booth downtown.
When you’re not enjoying a cigar, what do you like to do?
When I’m not on the golf course, you can find me in an arena horseback riding or in the mountains skiing. Other than that, I’m usually leading hundreds of people all dressed in white to secret locations in cities all around the world for le Dîner en Blanc.
What is an Atlanta must-see/must-go for out-of-town attendees?
While in Atlanta make your way to Ponce City Market. There are shops, restaurants, and amusements. A day at the High Museum of Art or Atlanta Botanical Gardens is a nice change of pace. Or take a stroll along the Beltline from Krog City Market to Piedmont Park to get your fill of aforementioned, the sites and sounds are remarkably unforgettable…it’s Atlanta!