Cigar lounge to open on Washington Ave. met with concerns from other operations on the street

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– 1030 Washington Avenue is a small building. But aspiring business woman Stefanie Flemming told Eyewitness News she has plans for the space- a cigar lounge. It’s a private lounge really set for those 30 and older.

“Just providing a safe haven where you can come relax, watch tv, and hang out with your friends or family. That’s what we’re basically planning on doing,” Flemming said about the business.

In order to help get the business open, Flemming and legal representatives were at Monday night’s city council meeting in regards to a rezoning ordinance. Representatives with Christian Tabernacle Church were there to express concerns about it opening up across the street.

“But I’m just concerned for the children,” one church representative said.

Also at the meeting was Tanesha Dodson, who operates a learning center and daycare right beside the building. Dodson expressed her concerns about it at the meeting and spoke with Eyewitness News, saying she likes Flemming, but isn’t sure the business matches in regards to where it’s located.

“Keeping it classy is what they were saying they plan to do. If they can do that, I guess I can just mind my business and hopefully that doesn’t interfere with the families that I serve and they won’t decide to take their children elsewhere,” Dodson said.

Flemming told Eyewitness News she understands these concerns. She said no large crowds will gather. She said the idea of it being a private cigar lounge is to better help monitor who comes into her business.

“We really stress the importance on being safe and having a safe environment and stuff. It’s ultimately up to us in making it a safe environment for everyone,” Flemming said.

Council members did pass the rezoning request, despite the concerns from others.

“We’re here if they ever need help or anything. I’m hoping we can get to the point where we all can work together,” Flemming said.

She hopes to open up Flemm’s Smoke House in the next month or two.

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