Business owner Scot McCain, a “Hoosier by heart” according to his wife Wendy, moved to Tennessee about five years ago. Their daughter was going to college at the University of Tennessee and, he said, “We didn’t want to get any further north than Knoxville.”
Scot had a history in the automotive industry, so when they were trying to figure out where to go, he took a job at Nissan, where he worked for five years.
But for decades, Scot had another passion.
“My wife and I, in our travels, we would go to many different cigar lounges around the United States and we got an idea of what we wanted to see and what we wanted to share,” he said.
When Nissan offered Scot a buyout, Wendy told him it was time to pursue that passion.
“She said, you’ve been wanting to do this for 20 years, now is the opportunity. This is your dream. Now is the time to go after it.”
And so he did.
In the automotive industry, Scot was a supply chain manager. “I’ve always dealt with people, with customers and with suppliers, so this is taking all of that experience and moving all of that into what we do here.”
The result is 4 The Win, a cigar shop and lounge at 110 W. Lincoln St., across the alley from London’s Sports Bar, in downtown Tullahoma.
“I’ve been very blessed by this opportunity I’ve had,” Scot said. “I spent 25 years in the automotive industry and I got an opportunity to do something for myself.”
“This has been a labor of love,” he said. “I wanted to give back to the community and cigars have been a passion of mine. Entertaining and taking care of people is something I’ve always loved to do. It’s amazing to have such a community and such a wonderful town that allows you to pursue your dreams.”
At the lounge
The cigar lounge is exactly what you’d expect it to be. That is unless, like Wendy’s mother, Vickie Miller, you’re unfamiliar with the concept.
“When they said they were going to do it, all I could think of was a smoky old room in the back of a filling station; my dad smoked cigars, so that’s what was in my head,” said Miller. “So when I saw this come together, I thought ‘this is so cool!’”
Her reaction is a testament to the shop’s considered appeal to women as well as men.
Designed to evoke the “speakeasy, Rat Pack era,” the 1,500 square foot shop is decorated in dark mahogany and cherry wood trim. While the walls are adorned with cigar décor or classic sport photos and jerseys, the focal point in three of the four distinct rooms is a large screen television.
Though there is certainly a large screen television in the fourth room – the largest room and the one that immediately greets customers – it would be unjust to call it the focal point. As customers enter, it’s the shop’s two climate-controlled display humidors and large wrought iron chandelier that catch the eye.
The two side rooms are somewhat private, outfitted with a pair of high-back executive chairs to intimately seat two. The two larger rooms on either end feature both executive chairs and dark leather sofas, allowing groups to light up and wind down together, accompanied by atmospheric soft jazz or the sound of the night’s big game.
Each room also features Wi-Fi access.
As required by law for venues that permit indoor smoking, the establishment is restricted those age 21 and up and there are several large, but hidden, ventilators keeping the smoke from accumulating indoors.
“We had a soft opening and about a dozen cigars were lit at once,” said Wendy. “The real MVP of the opening was the ventilator.”
“We want to be good neighbors,” Wendy said. It’s a sentiment her husband repeats.
“We want to be the premier destination in downtown Tullahoma,” said Scot, “so after you go to One22 for dinner, you can come in sit down and spend time: get on your laptop, engage in conversation, watch the football game, enjoy music and down time and just enjoy that cigar.”
Or maybe, he said, you can come in to finalize that business deal with a cigar and a drink.
That drink? It can be a hot one or a cold one, but either way, it will have local ties.
4 The Win has partnered with both local brewery Ole Shed and local roaster Crusader Coffee for the beer it serves and the coffee it sells.
There are four Ole Shed beers on tap, two staples – such as Pale Ale and Honey Do Golden Ale - and two seasonal brews on rotation.
The shop does not have a liquor license, but if you’re in the mood for something a little stronger, Scot or Wendy will be happy to hand you a rocks glass or snifter for the scotch, bourbon or brandy you bring in with you. There’s no corkage fee for the service, but they will remind you that what you bring in with you must leave with you as well.
If you’ve stopped in just for an after-dinner smoke, a coffee bar is also available. As Wendy points out, Crusader Coffee, specifically roasted by Triple B Farms for Templar Shooting Sports, is “coffee roasted on Coffee Street in Coffee County.”
“It’s a great partnership,” Scot said. “Coffee pairs very well with a cigar.”
Bagged coffee is also available for purchase by the pound.
Carbonated sodas and water are available as well.
Of course, you don’t have to smoke your cigars on site to enjoy the selection of merchandise available at the shop.
4 The Win offers a vast array of cigar sizes and brands to suit its patrons’ varied tastes – including such high-end cigar makers as Rocky Patel, Perdomo and Crowned Heads Cigars – and maintains them in the shop’s two electronically climate-controlled display cabinet humidors, which together have an 8,000 cigar capacity.
The shop also offers a wide array of accessories, including desk and travel humidors, cutters and lighters.
The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, from 11 am. to 10 pm. Thursday through Saturday, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Call 765-860-7209.