The love/hate relationship of walking into a local cigar shop


Recommended Posts

So yesterday, I am headed to my buddies house after work.. I call him as I am almost at his house to make sure he is home from work yet. He tells me he is about 20 minutes away. So I am trying to figure out what to do for 20 minutes because I don't want to sit outside of his house like a creep. I realize there is a little cigar shop right up the road that I have visited occasionally.

They have an excellent house blend. They own about 3000 Acres in the DR and have their own blend of super strong cigars labeled "for advanced smokers". The line is call Flamingo and is actually quite delicious. The shop Havana Lounge (this is the U.S. so they have no business calling themselves a "Havana Lounge" but that is neither here nor there).

Here is the love part: I walk into the shop and there are 3 guys sitting in the lounge smoking and watching tv whilst making small talk and instantly I get embraced by the warm loving smell of burning cigars, probably one of the most comforting smells in the world. As I walk through the small shop eyeing down each cigar like a kid in a candy shop a sense of serenity flows over me. Finally I pick out 3 cigars, one of the house blend Famingos, a Fuente Reserva Don Carlos, and a Fuente Lost City Forbidden X.

One rare and one semi rare cigars.

Here is the hate part: The lovely young woman about my age rings me up and I look at the total.. $70+ dollars!!! How can I spend upwards of $70 on 3 freaking cigars!?!? This doesn't mean I am not going to buy them, I picked them out and I am going to enjoy them all the same, but I just spent half of a box of excellent CCs worth on 3 cigars.

And now I remember why I don't usually visit local cigar shops. Love the lounge, love the atmosphere, hate spending absurd amounts of money that can be better spent on CCs.

post-22110-0-37335500-1455725662_thumb.j

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey had you bought those in Monreal, that bill would probably be 145$! taxes are INSANE here

Yea I hear you guys have it pretty bad up there. I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some shops really mark up the Opus stock. They do it because they can and they only get a few boxes in per year. I just picked up half a box of Anejo Petite Lanceros from my local shop at $8 a pop. I will not pay the premium for Opus ever even though they are great cigars. I will find them at list price or not buy them at all. They are not worth $30 per cigar.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have any love relationships with local cigar shops. Pricing is one thing, I can still live with that as everyone wants to make profit. What really grinds my gears is the people that work there along with their opinions and everyone else is wrong attitude. Prime example, I recently went to a local shop (very big and excellent selection) as I needed to pick up a couple 65% Boveda packs. I didn't see any on display so I asked. They didn't have any so I asked and the answer was that no one uses these so they don't sell them and why do I need them for. I politely replied that its for my humidor as that is what I store my cigars at. The guy just went off the tangent on me that this is an incorrect humidity and that their walking humidor is at 68-72%. So I explained to him that I find that Cubans smoke much better at 65 or even lower and if he every tried it. The guy just kept on going didn't want to hear what I had to say. I wanted to mention the parchment found in all Habanos boxes, but I just thought that there is no point, just walk away. Never going back.

Not the first experience like that and not the first shop. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but please don't shove it down my throat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Local shops have to contend with local laws. Up in Canada it's a crappy situation. The taxes alone are horrible The lack of indoor lounges due to anti-smoking legislation, minus Quebec and Manitoba, makes it worse. I'd gladly drop $20+ a stick to be able to enjoy it indoors. Especially during winter. The scenario you described is the exception here, not the norm. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea, I knew the sticks were expensive, but I guess I didn't do the math in my head. It probably wouldn't have mattered either way. I go snowblind when I am in a shop. They say don't go food shopping on an empty stomach, the same goes for cigars I suppose.. Price doesn't seem to bother me, I have no problem spending money on a good cigar.. I guess I am just more angry at myself for letting myself spend that much lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So yesterday, I am headed to my buddies house after work.. I call him as I am almost at his house to make sure he is home from work yet. He tells me he is about 20 minutes away. So I am trying to figure out what to do for 20 minutes because I don't want to sit outside of his house like a creep. I realize there is a little cigar shop right up the road that I have visited occasionally.

They have an excellent house blend. They own about 3000 Acres in the DR and have their own blend of super strong cigars labeled "for advanced smokers". The line is call Flamingo and is actually quite delicious. The shop Havana Lounge (this is the U.S. so they have no business calling themselves a "Havana Lounge" but that is neither here nor there).

Here is the love part: I walk into the shop and there are 3 guys sitting in the lounge smoking and watching tv whilst making small talk and instantly I get embraced by the warm loving smell of burning cigars, probably one of the most comforting smells in the world. As I walk through the small shop eyeing down each cigar like a kid in a candy shop a sense of serenity flows over me. Finally I pick out 3 cigars, one of the house blend Famingos, a Fuente Reserva Don Carlos, and a Fuente Lost City Forbidden X.

One rare and one semi rare cigars.

Here is the hate part: The lovely young woman about my age rings me up and I look at the total.. $70+ dollars!!! How can I spend upwards of $70 on 3 freaking cigars!?!? This doesn't mean I am not going to buy them, I picked them out and I am going to enjoy them all the same, but I just spent half of a box of excellent CCs worth on 3 cigars.

And now I remember why I don't usually visit local cigar shops. Love the lounge, love the atmosphere, hate spending absurd amounts of money that can be better spent on CCs.

... the verdict is in! You have bad judgement!!! I will pray for you... -R

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that gets me is the awkward feeling of walking into a new shop, when everyone else is a regular and wondering who the heck you are. This is double bad for me since I am in my 20's. From time to time I feel like there is a lot of age discrimination since it would seem that the average cigar smoker is a little older. This isn't always the case but it seems to happen more often than not.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea I hear you guys have it pretty bad up there. I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much lol.

Yep that Opus x forbidden city alone would have cost $70 probably more here in Aus . Hope you enjoyed the cigars .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being in the US where it's cold as hell in the winter, I hit up a shop on the weekend to smoke a stick. Generally bring in a Cuban and purchase an Opus X to throw in the humi when I get back. Aside from the weather, I never go to a lounge, the taxes just aren't worth it.

This weekend is supposed to be in the 40's (roughly 7 C), so I just might take my shirt off and get a tan while having my cigar! party.gif

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey had you bought those in Monreal, that bill would probably be 145$! taxes are INSANE here

I go to Montreal pretty much every year and each time I go to LCDH I complain to Tony (used to complain to Marc) that the taxes are crazy! It severely curtailed my purchasing. Our host is so much better, both for the quality of the product and the pricing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish 3 cigars were $70 here bud, unfortunately some singles down this way cost that and slightly lower and those aren't always super premium stogies either. But I guess for your neck of the woods that is pretty steep. The Opus X is the costly one

I really love the smell of walking into a local B&M store and that pleasant room note of cigars filling the air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love to go to the local shop/lounge with my own stock in hand. I always buy a couple of theirs. Never the expensive stuff and never the cheap crap. Just sticks in the middle price range. I won't smoke them. I bring them home and save them for non-smokers who want to partake and wont appreciate the Cuban quality. Maybe I will bring a non-cuban out fishing or to the beach where the wind will tear it up. I have not done that yet...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has been many years since I went into a cigar shop, but a friend brought forward the idea recently that our hobby is continually under pressure and he suggested we should perhaps support the local retailers a bit. In Canada the taxes are brutal, but I will probably start to stop into a shop in Vancouver every now and then and grab a couple of retail sticks.

It has got to be tough being a retailer in an industry constantly under attack, just a thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love going into a good cigar shop. I like to see the cigars all on display and checking out the stock in a walk-in humidor is an enjoyable way to pass the time. However the prices in B&M shops make any significant purchase ridiculously expensive. For the price of an average box of robustos or double coronas in England I could fly out to a different EU country with less strict tobacco taxes, buy the same cigars, have lunch and then fly back in the evening with change in my pocket.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Local shops have to contend with local laws. Up in Canada it's a crappy situation. The taxes alone are horrible The lack of indoor lounges due to anti-smoking legislation, minus Quebec and Manitoba, makes it worse. I'd gladly drop $20+ a stick to be able to enjoy it indoors. Especially during winter. The scenario you described is the exception here, not the norm. :(

Of course this is same in Australia. The LCDH (if you can call it that) in Sydney is really hard to find in the city business district in Sydney. It's basically underneath a stairwell near a hotel lobby in Martin Place and it's so small, I think only 2 or 3 people could fit in it. Then their stock is all locked away and green-banded. Horrible...I never want to go there again!

All the other dedicated cigar stores in Sydney have closed up in the last few years due to law changes. So appreciate what you have in the US. I certainly enjoyed watching NFL and smoking indoors in Hawaii when I was there in December 2014.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love checking out B&M's around the world. Wherever possible I chat to the staff and the owner if around. Cigar people are generally good people. Seldom do I not purchase a few sticks. It is not that I need cigars but I love to experience the interaction of staff with a customer.

I love being sold to party.gif

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buying a NC cigar at the local shop is the entry fee to use their lounge for me. Sometimes I smoke it, sometimes I smoke what I brought. Sometimes both.

Like one of the previous posters pointed out, come January through March around the northern Midwest it gets cold...especially if you are near one of the great lakes. Combine that with the fact that smoking in most public places other than a cigar lounge has been banned since around 2008-2011 in the states around me. Unless you are fortunate to have one of the nice man cave to smoke cigars, the cigar lounge is the only place where you can smoke cigars in winter. So yes, paying for that NC cigars is pretty much the price of admission. The ones near me have nice humidors and some even rent out lockers. Most lounges have TVs, coffee and nice lounge chairs. However, they watch for people bringing in other cigars. One guy even has a sign that reads, "Would you bring your own steak to a steakhouse? Would you bring your own Coffee to a coffee house? Then don't bring your own cigars to our cigar lounge. The only saving grace to these policies is that most of these places are BYOB. What you are paying extra for the cigar you are not pay a bar for overpriced drinks. With the brutal winters we having around here, I am surprised that someone has not found a way to find the loopholes in the smoking laws and capitalize on smoking options other than the cigar stores. I am thinking something like a Christian Science reading room, but for smoking cigars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like one of the previous posters pointed out, come January through March around the northern Midwest it gets cold...especially if you are near one of the great lakes. Combine that with the fact that smoking in most public places other than a cigar lounge has been banned since around 2008-2011 in the states around me. Unless you are fortunate to have one of the nice man cave to smoke cigars, the cigar lounge is the only place where you can smoke cigars in winter. So yes, paying for that NC cigars is pretty much the price of admission. The ones near me have nice humidors and some even rent out lockers. Most lounges have TVs, coffee and nice lounge chairs. However, they watch for people bringing in other cigars. One guy even has a sign that reads, "Would you bring your own steak to a steakhouse? Would you bring your own Coffee to a coffee house? Then don't bring your own cigars to our cigar lounge. The only saving grace to these policies is that most of these places are BYOB. What you are paying extra for the cigar you are not pay a bar for overpriced drinks. With the brutal winters we having around here, I am surprised that someone has not found a way to find the loopholes in the smoking laws and capitalize on smoking options other than the cigar stores. I am thinking something like a Christian Science reading room, but for smoking cigars.

I understand the pressures of any B&M with a lounge.

Personally, I would be happy to pay a $5-$10 clipping fee for any cigar I brought in to smoke if I could use the facilities that they provided. TV, comfy chair, bar etc.

In the main these guys do it tough.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.