BURLINGTON 鈥 Building relationships, making memories. That澳门开奖 manager Cynthia Bennett澳门开奖 credo at La Boh猫me, Burlington澳门开奖 newest downtown watering hole.

鈥淟a Boh猫me鈥 is Italian 鈥 or French 鈥 for 鈥渢he Bohemian.鈥

A Bohemian is a free spirit, a non-conformist.

A gypsy, in other words, and there are plenty of gypsies in the Southeast Iowa camp 鈥 social, financial, political, artistic.

And it澳门开奖 pronounced 鈥渓ah BO-em鈥 although Americans are permitted to say 鈥渂oo-EM.鈥

The narrow brick building at 417 Jefferson Street gained a new life as Original Cyn澳门开奖 on June 3, 2003.

That business is now up the street at 522 Jefferson Street and La Boh猫me is at 417.

Owners Lonnie and Cyn Schuyler are high on any list of top personalities in Southeast Iowa.

La Boh猫me currently has six on staff, including Bennett.

鈥淲e鈥檙e going to be mostly a whiskey-bourbon bar,鈥 Schuyler said while final-touching for the opening. 鈥淲e鈥檒l do flights. We鈥檒l have cocktails.鈥

When it was still a dream, Schuyler said he envisioned a place where a person could buy a good cigar and have a bourbon and sit outside and smoke.

鈥淚 wanted something to offer, something different that would have a different type of feel,鈥 Schuyler said. 鈥淚t was cool, bouncing ideas off my wife and Cindy B and coming up with a concept we all liked.鈥

A little over two years ago, Schuyler澳门开奖 wife, Cyn, pitched him on doing a bar, but wondered who he would get to run it.

鈥淭hen she ran into an old friend of hers who used to work with her: Cindy Bennett,鈥 Schuyler said. 鈥淐indy is really big into whiskey, and between the three of us, we came up with something like a speakeasy infused with a bohemian attitude.鈥

Schuyler said La Boh猫me is 鈥渕ostly a lounge.鈥

But don鈥檛 compare them to another downtown eclectic bar, Valley Monster.

鈥淚 like Valley Monster澳门开奖 concept,鈥 he said. 鈥淚 like the feel of their place.鈥

Bennett agreed. 鈥淲hat Valley Monster does, they do really well,鈥 she said. 鈥淚n fact, all the bars up and down Jefferson do a great job of what they鈥檙e doing. I just want to add another element, another layer that supports downtown. In the future, I can see pub crawls going up and down Jefferson Street.鈥

Schuyler envisioned something from around of the turn of the nineteenth century.

鈥淚 want the bar to look like it澳门开奖 always been here. I want the floor to look like it澳门开奖 always been here. I want the bar to look like it belonged,鈥 he said. 鈥淭hen add all this artistic element to it, to make it seem infused with some new ideas.鈥

When Cyn decided to move Original Cyn澳门开奖 up the street, closer to her C-Sky store, Schuyler jumped on the opportunity.

鈥淲e went to work and started doing it,鈥 Schuyler said.

Bennett sold him on the service end of it as far as smoking drinks and customer service and the uniqueness of it all. Jerilyn Horn of Kitchen & Bath Design did an initial layout.

鈥淛erilyn came up with an initial plan and we said, 鈥業 like this.鈥 And we took it from there. It has been evolving ever since,鈥 Bennett said.


鈥淭his is my passion,鈥 Bennett said. 鈥淚鈥檓 a people person. I love serving, I love building relationships. I love creating experiences and memories with people.鈥 Bennett worked at Original Cyn澳门开奖 on that opening day long ago and stayed for five years before deciding to build more businesses and a family.

鈥淲e kind of came back together,鈥 Bennett said of Cyn Schuyler. 鈥淎 staff member thought the building would be a great whiskey bar. Cyn proposed that to Lonnie, and I came back into the picture after having managed a whiskey bar in Fort Madison.鈥

The average lifespan of an American bar or tavern is less than five years, and that澳门开奖 without social distancing and sheltering in place.

Corks & Barrels opened in Fort Madison in 2021 in what was once the Ivy Bake Shoppe澳门开奖 main dining area.

鈥淚t took us time to figure out how everything was going to fall into place,鈥 Bennett said of La Boh猫me澳门开奖 location.

鈥淐yn didn鈥檛 want to leave it.鈥 Bennett worked at C-Sky and Original Cyn澳门开奖 for the past year while the trio was putting La Boh猫me together.

鈥淟onnie is really gracious,鈥 Bennett said. 鈥淗e澳门开奖 allowing me to do the things here that I really wanted to evolve into. He澳门开奖 like, 鈥楲et澳门开奖 do it.鈥 So we did.鈥


Bennett stressed that La Boh猫me is not a wine bar.

鈥淲e want to continue to celebrate Corked 101; what they do, they鈥檙e doing well,鈥 Bennett said. 鈥淲e鈥檙e going to be different than what every other bar in town is doing. So I鈥檓 not ever going to have sangrias because Corked does it very well.鈥

Wine-wise, Bennett said La Boh猫me has a house white, a house red, a couple moscatos and some sparklers.

鈥淚鈥檓 very whiskey-driven,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 love bourbons, whiskey, scotch. I have converted many, many people who say, 鈥業鈥檓 not a whiskey drinker鈥 and I say, 鈥楪ive me a couple drinks and I can do it.鈥 And I have.鈥

Bennett said that in addition to 鈥渟ome interesting gin drinks,鈥 she澳门开奖 bringing back some of the cocktail classics. 鈥淚 want to do a really good Negroni. I want to do a gin gimlet,鈥 she said.

鈥淲e鈥檙e going to stick to some traditional ones. I鈥檓 not going to rename them cutesy names. If you鈥檙e going to get a Negroni, it澳门开奖 going to be a Negroni. I鈥檓 not going to call it a something else.鈥


Ask Bennett if her sights are mainly on whiskeys and she鈥檒l hit you with a straight shot. 鈥淭he focus is on building relationships and having an experience,鈥 she said. 鈥淢aking memories.鈥

But Bennett has a reputation for crafting a fabulous old fashioned and has created a menu of different types of old fashioneds, not just in whiskey style.

鈥淚 have a big list of old fashioneds: a rum old fashioned, a tequila old fashioned, which we鈥檙e calling Pancho after Lonnie澳门开奖 dad,鈥 she said.

Her Bloody Marys are smoked with hickory.

鈥淥nce you have a smoked Bloody Mary, you will never have them any other way,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 also put whiskey in my Marys. And vodka.鈥

She smiled.

鈥淭hat澳门开奖 what we do here.鈥


Bennett said La Boh猫me will start off with light appetizers, but they won鈥檛 be French-oriented.

鈥淚鈥檓 not French!鈥 she said, laughing. 鈥淲e鈥檙e starting off with some easy scratch dips. We鈥檙e going to be doing some easy appetizers. Then we鈥檙e going to move into some others after we have made sure my kitchen guy, Eli Jordan, has mastered all of those.鈥

Try the Caprese Skewers, or the Boursin Cheese with Onion Bacon Jam, or the Brie with Honeycomb. Yeah, real honeycomb. She said limited kitchen space foregoes full-blown meals.

鈥淚t澳门开奖 not a restaurant. It澳门开奖 light appetizers or light fare food. If it gets cold out, we might end up doing some soups or other interesting things. We鈥檙e still trying to work it all out, so it澳门开奖 going to evolve,鈥 she said.


Smoky bars are a thing of the past in Iowa 鈥 not counting casinos, where, for no logical reason, it is still allowed 鈥 but La Boh猫me gives smokers a place to enjoy good whiskey with their favorite smoke.

Smoking is not permitted inside the building but an awning over the front door and chairs on the sidewalk provide a safe and legal area for patrons to enjoy a sip of BruichLaddich with a fine Cohiba.

鈥淚 got a metal awning that looks turn of the century, so it will extend the front about five feet,鈥 Schuyler said.

The awning isn鈥檛 required by City code.

鈥淚 want the look,鈥 Schuyler said. 鈥淚 want it to go out far enough to where people can sit under it and be free of the elements if they鈥檙e out there smoking a cigar and having a bourbon or a scotch or whatever. I just want them to be able to sit out there and do it.鈥


A recent foray into La Boh猫me澳门开奖 comfy bosom uncovered a new experience: smoked whiskey.

鈥淲e鈥檙e going to be smoking drinks,鈥 Bennett said.

Smoking whiskey means exposing your favorite distillation to wood smoke, according to .

This draws out more tannic qualities of the wood and adds the aroma of whatever creates the smoke, contributing to the depth of the flavor.

Wood is integral to whiskey because whiskey gets most of its flavor from aging in a wooden barrel.

To smoke a drink at La Boh猫me, with a smoker lid or beneath a dome, shavings are loaded and lit and the smoke is allowed to infuse the drink.

鈥淚鈥檓 amazed because it takes the edge off, it just smooths everything out,鈥 Schuyler said. 鈥淪ometimes people鈥檒l have their beers smoked.鈥

Smoking doesn鈥檛 make the liquor taste different so much as it takes the bite out of the alcohol. The whiskey flavor remains, but you won鈥檛 be craving a glass of PBR to rinse your palate.

鈥淚鈥檓 not a big drinker; an old fashioned makes my face tweak,鈥 Schuyler said. 鈥淏ut Cindy smoked it and I could sip it without making a face.鈥


La Boh猫me澳门开奖 Grand Opening begins at 4 p.m. Thursday Nov. 9 at 417 Jefferson St. and continues on Friday and Saturday Nov. 11 until 11:45 p.m.

Cash and credit cards welcome.