I have had a couple of my friends and readers inquire about my normal pattern of Facebook checking into “The Cigar Inn” over on E73rd Street. My canned response is “I can tell you about it but then I would have to kill you” and they laugh it off until they realize that I am serious….I am kidding folks. Back when we lived in Crime-Free Memphis we had a balcony overlooking Main Street that I would sit out and smoke many a stogie, hell I even had a TV with Comcast service out there. Now before you associate those stinky Swisher Sweets or Black and Mild that is not what I am smoking. My particular tastes is medium to mild cigar with a greater than 50 ring size and prefer Torpedo shaped cigars but even that has changed since moving to NYC. I don’t drink alcohol while smoking and only smoke when I can devote at least 2 hours because this is my relaxation and happy place. Back when we were in Memphis I would normally do this solo as Momma doesn’t like the smoke and this is where I would read, play on the tablet and stalk on social media.
When we moved up to NYC I was limited to locations to enjoy a cigar, you see smoking is prohibited in parks as well as any eating establishment so other than going to see the Asian Fireman in Woodlawn it was either the benches outside of Central park on 5th Ave or cigar bars. In Memphis I never really found a cigar hangout (traditionally a Cigar store) that I could call home. The Cigar Store on Union had some ‘characters’ that would frequent there that I never really felt welcome. I did enjoy the Cigar Store a block away from Beale Street but inevitability there would be “that guy” who wanted to talk to everyone and try to start arguments because he wasn’t held as a child. Then I found The Cigar Inn a block away from our apartment.
The Cigar Inn has two locations and allows Cigar Smoking inside the establishment. They don’t serve alcohol or food but do offer some non-alcoholic beverages and has a decent espresso. When we moved up here, and since I was unemployed, I would head over there in the afternoon before Momma got home from work. Inside the joint on E73rd Street it has a front and rear Cigar Parlor that is divided by the merchandise cases and Cigar Lockers. Both parlors have 3 flat screen TV’s that will have sports, news or whatever you request shown on them. Just don’t ask to watch an SEC Football game the same hour that the Yankees are on because you will be told no. The rear Cigar Parlor is where some older gentlemen hang out and are quick to chastise you for wearing shorts and not long trousers. Yeah, I learned my lesson and I have since abided by the dress code. The downside to the back room is that it is very smoky back there and the older gentlemen are the type of people who want to win the 1.4 Billion Powerball for a tax break. Yeah, I am out of that tax bracket so I sit my ass up in the front room.
The beauty and allure of The Cigar Inn is that no one is a stranger and what makes it unique is the different clientele who frequent the joint. You have white collar executives who are more than happy to smoke their cigars in their 4K suits and then you have blue collar workers who smoke double corona cigars with their steel toe boots on, pretty much all are welcome. Traditionally I am in there in the late afternoon or weekends so you normally see the same group of folks and as one can expect, there is some serious ball busting going on in there. What I love about place (Mrs. CBT calls it “The Stinky Place”) is that if you sit there long enough you can find a common bond or framework. I will carry my tablet with me but I find that I hardly look at it as I now watch Hockey on the TV or join in the conversation. The only downside is that you do smell like an ashtray and you will get some stares in the Hospital owned apartment building while riding the elevator because you reek of smoke. Thankfully the head of Cardiac Surgery for the hospital is also a patron of the clubhouse so I can always blame it on him.
Here is the front of the store on East 73rd Street
Front Room – I had to nip this off of the internet as I am sure The Boys wouldn’t be too keen on having their picture taken and posted on this crappy blog.
Merch Area – to the back is the Walk In Humidor and rear parlor. They have all kinds of gifts here, granted it will have to be aired out for a week but if you need a good “Guy’s Gift” give them a call.