Small Town Cigar Bars – I Found My Niche

Hi Folks: In my last post I talked about what it takes to be a cigar blogger, and while reading some cigar news today, I believe that I found my niche.

That’s right Small Town Cigar Bars! They may not necessarily be located in a small town, but they have the feel of a small town.

So Chuck; What brought this on?

st pete cigar outside

I was reading some industry news today that one of the big publications puts out and they talk about some of the upscale cigar lounges and were showing some pics and talking about how plush they are.

Well I am always on the look out for places to visit for this blog and as I was reading I was thinking (yes I think) Does this sound like a place that I would like to write about?

I answered myself with (yeah I also talk to myself) No, I don’t believe so.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy these upscale spots and can usually find a cigar adventure there, primarily because they draw large crowds and tend to have big events.

However, when it comes right down to it, the places that I feel most at home are in the smaller places, with mostly just regular old folk that enjoy a good stick.

Kinda Rednecky (I’m sure that ain’t a word)

this pic is looking at the easy up awning in front of Bayers mobil humidort, with Deb and Bayer enjoying a stick.

I guess for lack of a better word, I will call them rednecky (or should I say redneckish?) joints! Before any of you who own the places I have stopped in the past that feel like I am including you in this observation go to gripping, don’t get your drawers in a bunch!

This statement is meant with the greatest of warmth and respect! What you have is special and can’t really be duplicated by some of the more upscale lounges!

You see they just ain’t the same, due to the number of clients and the size and decor of the places, the feel just isn’t the same.

They can be a lot of fun and quite often they are welcoming and quite often educational, but for a guy like me, I just don’t get the same feeling (oh no, now I’m talking about feelings (that doesn’t sound very rednecky))!

What make them different

several folks sitting in the lived in looking lounge at St Pete Cigars

One of the things that distinguishes these establishments for me, is that I allways feel like I can just walk in, grab a stick, plop down in a chair or couch, kick my shoes off and plant my feet on the table (with or without shoes) and I have seen it done!

These are places where the crowd is diverse, but not usually like fortune 500 CEOs hob knobbing with Wall Street guys, these guys are philosophers and problem solvers, who concur the problems of the country!

They take their libations and puff on stogies and figure out, just what needs to be done to get this country back on track….. Unfortunately due to a little bit too much indulgence in the libations, they forget what the answers were by the next morning, allas they even forget what the questions were!

Ron (aka Jesus) at Cigar Shoppe, Montgomery, AL, with his feet up!

Ron (aka Jesus)

When I go to these places, the owners and managers are usually quite approachable, allowing for easy discourse (there’s a fancy word).

They typically are enthusiastic about what I am doing at Cigar Pals and will introduce me to customers as they come in, making for an easy transition from some new guy, to me becoming one of the gang.

pic of Doug Theal, the owner of the Cigar Shoppe in Montgomery, AL and myself having a stick in the lounge

Smoking with Doug

These places are usually smaller with worn, overstuffed chairs and couches and I tend to try to be conscientious of the regulars and ask, if I am in anyone’s favorite chair (just my thing)!

Sometime I even receive cigars on the house (hint, hint).

While I don’t expect this from them, I never feel like I am taking advantage of them, since what I do on this blog, is offer them free advertising, and any business owner knows that advertising can be very expensive.

These brick and mortar, mom-and-pop places always give me a warm fuzzy when I walk in and I can usually tell that I am in one the moment I walk in the door.

This pic is Outside the Cigar Shoppe in Ellwood City Pa.. With Green facing awning and thin green and large red stripes. stone wall on the bottom with glass windows above.

I kind of feel like “I am home” when I go in!

This is not always the rule

The look of a place doesn’t always make it the rule!

I have gone into some cigar lounges, that looked like they wouldn’t fit the Small Town Cigar Bar mold and then when I walked in I found that they were great fun and while not exactly as I described above (they may frown about feet on the table) They are warm and inviting and have owners and staff who go out of their way to make you visit as enjoyable as they can.

the Tinder Box

Overall most of my experiences have been delightful and just downright fun.

What a way to make a living

So. What can I say, I get to ride around the country on my Harley, meeting cool people and smoking cigars.

More often than you would think, I walk into one of those places that has that small town cigar bar feel to it and everything just seems to click.

So for today I have to say, I found my niche!

This is about the funnest industry that I have ever been exposed to and even though I am talking today about the small cozy places, there seems to be no end to the excitement that can be enjoyed visiting Cigar Bars/Lounges, and sometimes, just a cigar store can be pleasant.

The front door and window at The Smoke House. Smoke House in white  lettering with a long stem pipe on  windows, yellow wall with white door with yellow barn door trim. Yellow awning with green stripes. and wooden cigar store Indian off to the left.

the Smokehouse

As I write this post, I am at Cigar Bundles of Miami and have been talking to Alex about the trip he and Jackie just returned from in Cuba.

Looking over my bike at the lit Cigar sign and street facing windows of Cigar Bundles of Miami at night.

I watched as Alex spoke with passion and a light in his eyes about the wonderful adventure they had down there and how he hopes to put together a group to go down and experience Cuba with other like-minded people.

So there you go, I hope that the next time you see the sign Cigars on some out-of-the-way place, you will remember to not out run your adventure and  will stop in and check em out and please don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments section of any of my posts and let me know about it, so the next time I’m in that area, I can check it out.

Feel free as Amway to let me know in the comments section below if you have any questions or comments.

Till then…. Fire one up!

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