$2 Million Cigar Lodge in the Backyard? You Must Be Blowing Smoke
In Glencoe, Ill., Andrew Berlin built a 900-square-foot outbuilding where he could enjoy his favorite cigars.
By Alina Dizik
Feb. 4, 2021 12:30 pm ET
Andrew Berlin can’t recall the exact moment when his idea for a simple screened-in porch became a less modest endeavor. But two years and $2 million later, he is enjoying his own elaborate retreat on his property.
The Glencoe, Ill., resident spent years looking for a way to enjoy his favorite Cohiba Behike cigars in the midst of winter. His main home—a 10,100-square-foot 1928 English Cotswold cottage—didn’t have the necessary ventilation. Neither did his guesthouse, which is also on the 4.9-acre property overlooking Lake Michigan on Chicago’s North Shore. He briefly considered a separate greenhouse in the middle of the lawn, but worried it would block the views.
Mr. Berlin was most intrigued by the idea of building a small lodge at the edge of the property that could sit almost directly above the lake and take advantage of unused waterfront space.
“It’s a grand example of scope creep,” he says of the much-expanded plan. Mr. Berlin, 60, is the retired chairman of a namesake global packaging company and a part owner of the Chicago Cubs.
Chicago-based interior designer Bruce Fox took on the project. He focused on creating a masculine entertaining lodge, blending sought-after antiques with modern elements, and hiding a top-of-the-line ventilation system in the 18.5-foot sloped ceiling.