It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Rocky Patel. Not just his delicious boxpressed wonders, but the man himself, his style, his balls, his moxie, his chutzpah. Unlike some cigar company guys who put on a false pose of being a down-to-Earth "simple man of the soil", Rocky puts on the pose of being a cigar-world rock star. And you know what? He is. What I said about Gene Simmons three years ago applies to Rocky as well:
Gene Simmons gets a lot of flak for being an egomaniac. You can easily find online whiners who complain that he shouldn't talk so much about the things he does. Still others even go so far to say that he shouldn't even be doing the things he does. As if he should just do nothing because some slacker on the internet thinks it's "not cool" to have your own clothing line and your own perfume line and your own TV show and your own coffee company and to get to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. I'd much rather be like Gene Simmons than be like his online detractors and haters, broadcasting live from mommy's basement.
And so it is that moving to Naples is for me, something akin to a Catholic moving to Vatican City or a Muslim moving to Mecca. For it's here that Rocky is headquartered, and it's here where his outstanding cigar bar, BURN, is located. Some of my upcoming novel The Tract of Blood has been written here, propping up the bar, tossin' 'em back, and enjoying those fine XEN torpedos and old-recipe Royales. It's a very luxurious place that inspires all who enter - at least this is my fondest hope - to feel a newfound sense of "dammit, I am worthy" when they sit here and partake of the tobacco sacrament inside these leather-seated, marble-clad walls.
I still haven't seen Rocky there though. (Call me, Rocky, let's do lunch...)