Entrepreneur Spotlight: Darian Scott
"I have seen LAUNCH offer a lot of great opportunities to a lot of entrepreneurs, providing resources and providing a circle of people they can go to"
It is difficult to capture the ambiance within the Chattanooga Cigar Club. The interior has a full bar adorning an entire wall, accompanied by lounge seating, a large glass display of featured cigars, located adjacent to a busy road (Broad St.) on the streetside of the building giving the space an innately energetic feel. The operating Manager of the space, Terri Talley, mentioned that the business has been a gathering place for many Chattanoogans - a space where new friendships have been formed and old friendships have been rekindled. These words go without saying that Darian Scott and Curtis Greene, the co-owners of the business, have created a truly unique gathering place in the heart of Chattanooga. The establishment is a lounge and full bar that offers premier cigars, hookah lounge, regular events hosting live music, and a diverse menu of horderves that pair well with the diverse drink menu curated for the space.
Darian Scott, a LAUNCHepreneur, attributes LAUNCH CHA with helping him understand the technical, financial terms for managing the operations of a business. He and Curtis Greene, both Chattanooga natives, opened the Chattanooga Cigar Club in 2018. This, however, was not the first time the duo worked together. At various points in their career, Darian's experience in the entertainment industry and Curtis' in the security industry resulted in the partners establishing a business relationship. “I [Darian] would work the event, and he [Curtis] would secure the event, and so we already had the trust relationship. Doing these things, we were already developing a business relationship.” It is from this bond that the team joined forces to “offer Chattanooga something different,” in the form of the Chattanooga Cigar club. Their thorough market research paired with “the encouragement to keep pushing to move further, LAUNCH being a big part of that” resulted in the duo feeling equipped to start their business.
When asked about their experiences as co-owners of a business, the team feels that there are two sides to this relationship, trust being the first half and the other half involving active communication and understanding of your role in the operation. “Knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a person… when you know that, and can accept that, it helps the relationship.” By mutually accepting these roles, the team found that they are not only compatible and effective as a team, but have forged a trusting partnership with one another.
These bonds of friendship and trust led the duo to leverage their business as a force for good to impact their community positively. When asked what they are most proud of, Darian recalls that he is “proud that they are able to employ as many people as they have been able to.” Darian shared a story that within the first few months of the business launching, they had the opportunity to employ someone that was living in a hotel down the street. With a supportive network and a thoughtful employer in the Chattanooga Cigar Club, she stayed with the business for over three years, was able to get back on her feet, sign a lease for an apartment, and become more stable. Darian recalls, “those are the moments that we really look back and recognize that they are making a difference.”
In 2022, the Chattanooga Cigar Club is excited to provide their patrons with renovations to their outdoor seating options and a more diverse menu offering. Making outdoor seating options available during the pandemic - the team is eager to add to their patio seating. Additionally, in November of 2021, they opened a second business in the downtown area, Six18 Restaurant & Lounge! One of the unique features of Darian and Curtis’ business model is that their establishments are as much about quality products and amenities for customers to enjoy as they are about the community that is formed in their spaces.
Where to find the Chattanooga Cigar Club:
Also, check out their new business Six18 restaurant and lounge located on Georgia Avenue downtown!