It was three lives ago. Before he was on a reality TV show, before he was a general contractor, Marsua Scott was a general manager at Monaco Pictures, the deluxe movie theater that opened at Bridge Street in Huntsville around 2007.
“Remember how when you first walked into Monaco you were like, ‘Wow, this is in Huntsville?'” Scott recalls. ” And I got a chance to tell them, ‘Why not?'”
Scott’s profile has risen since the 2019 premiere of “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” an unscripted hit on Oprah Winfrey’s cable network, OWN. In addition to Scott and his wife, LaTisha Scott, the show features two more up-and-coming Black couples from Huntsville, Melody and Martell Holt and Maurice and Kimmi Scott.
And the next 30 days or so, the Marsau and LaTisha plan to premiere their latest project: Blaque Cigar Lounge. Blaque will be located at 4206 Oakwood Ave. and boast a vibe-y interior with three fireplaces. “This is not a club,” Marsau says. “It’s more relaxing. You’re going to be able to have a five o’clock drink with a few of your work buddies or have a meeting and go over some final details. It’s not a place where you go dance. It’s the kind of place where you go socialize and see and been seen.”
Turns out both Marsua and LaTisha are cigar afficionados. He’s fond of Arturo Fuentes and she’s into Javas, coffee-infused cigars made by Drew Estate.
“It’s relaxing,” Scott says. “It’s one of favorite pastimes – having a nice cigar, a nice scotch and just enjoy the rest of your day.” He traces his interest in smoke back to memories of his great grandfather, who’d smoke a tobacco pipe and play jazz music played upstairs in their family’s Chicago home. “There was something about the smell of it that got me,” Scott recalls.
According to Scott, Blaque’s cigar selection will be about 80 percent national brands and 20 percent boutiques. Expects makes like My Father, Cohiba, Nub, Maduro and Emperors Cut. He says the price range will “fit the market.”
“The cigar market is growing” Scott says, “and we realized there’s a lot of new interest, people who’ve not been cigar enthusiasts over the last 50, 75 years. And a lot of those are African Americans and believe it or not a lot of them are women. We want to make sure our place is a really welcoming environment for the professional woman.”
Blaque’s bar will be scratch, meaning they’ll make their own sour mix, etc. in-house. “We’ll have our own handcrafted cocktails, the whole nine,” Scott says. Also in the cards, a kitchen serving tapas. Food offerings will include a selection of sliders, although the full menu and executive chef are still being determined as of the reporting of this story. They’re also pinning down hours, although Scott wants to be open 365 days a year. Blaque is housed in a plaza Scott says he and LaTisha have purchased and are calling Uptown. Future development plans there include “a nice breakfast or brunch spot.”
“Love & Marriage: Huntsville” recently returned for season two. Asked if there’s anything he’s learned from working on the show he now applies to outside ventures like Blaque, Scott replies, “The perspective of the people that watch it. In that I’ve learned what they’re looking for: They want more, they want better, they want different We’ve noticed there’s a lot of construction going on around Huntsville, in midtown and downtown, but we wanted to make sure something’s going on in North Huntsville, which we call uptown.” Then circling back to his Monaco Pictures days, he adds, “When people ask me why Blaque is in Northwest Huntsville, I get a chance to look them dead in the eye and say, ‘Why not?’” (More info at instagram.com/blaque_cigarlounge.)
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