Finding online cigar stores that can sell cigars is a straightforward and easy thing to do. However, finding duty free cigar stores as reputable and reliable as the major High Street ones, such as this website, can be more difficult. A cigar store should be more than just somewhere that you can buy cigars from; it should be an experience that helps you to fully appreciate the whole experience that you’re buying into, as well as being able to recommend products to you. After all, if you’re buying a box of Cuban cigars for a few hundred dollars you should quite rightly expect a more sophisticated service than if you were to buy just a carton of cigarettes.
World famous cigar stores
Some of these cigar stores have outlets all over the world – and whether you’re in Amsterdam or Auckland, Buenos Aries or Beirut etc, you’ll be sure to find a top quality cigar store in one of the major shopping districts for that city. One name that is synonymous with style and fine cigars is, of course, Alfred Dunhill. Its London Cigar store is on Jermyn Street, in the St James district – which is also famed for high class tailoring and jewelers. This is not a place where visitors are rushed into making a purchase; the humidor upstairs also has seating arranged rather like a reading room, in which you can also inspect the cigars on offer. Nearby on St James’s Street is the Davidoff cigar store, another of the truly great names in cigars. Davidoff is based in Geneva, Switzerland, where they have had a cigar store since 1912.
Davidoff is also renowned for not only selling fine and aged cigars, but also the Cuaba smoking hat. You can find Dunhill and Davidoff stores all over the world, including places like the Ginza in Tokyo. Famous cigar stores in the USA include – Angelo and Maxies’s Cigar store on Park Avenue South, New York; whilst the J&R Tobacco store on Broadway is another of the top cigar stores to visit here. Meanwhile if you’re in the capitol city of the USA, Washington DC, I suppose you’d have to visit what claims to be the world’s largest cigar store – JR Cigar on L Street NW. However, many folk might prefer something a little more intimate such as President Cigars, who have an outlet on Union Station.
Private clubs and cigar stores
Both in the USA and world-wide many private clubs are well known and respected for the choice in cigars they can offer their members, not to mention the refined atmospheres in which you can smoke them. Worthy of particular mention here is the Havana Rooms; with premises in New York and Beverley Hills. Although not strictly a cigar store they do have the very finest cigars on sale to their members. However, it is their humidors which really set the Havana Rooms apart from many Cuban cigar stores and the other similarly sophisticated clubs. At 15 inches by 15 inches and 24 inches deep, each member’s humidor has plenty of room for several Gran Corona; however, the sight of 650 of them in a glass enclosed humidor vault – is indeed a sight to behold.
Cigar store Indians
In the USA the sight of a Cigar Store Indian figure, a caricature of the American natives, was readily associated with stores selling all manner of tobacco products. It was, of course, the Native Americans that introduced tobacco to the early European explorers; which made tobacco products one of the first American trade commodities back to Europe in the 16th century. The first Cigar store Indians were made to advertise the fact that tobacco products were on sale inside a shop or store back in Europe; and were in actual fact crude representations of the indigenous Americans.
Being thousands of miles away and a race that no one had seen, they were often portrayed in what would now be considered overtly racist tones. By the 1800s the sights of Cigar Store Indians in Europe were declining but it was around this time that it was taken back to America, with the ever increasing waves of immigrants from Europe. The same as in Europe, it became a form of advertising to a largely illiterate population that tobacco and cigars were on sale inside the store. By the beginning of the 20th century, as more of the population became educated and urbanized, the use of Cigar store Indians outside shops and stores declined, and the figures were gradually moved indoors or disposed of. As the 20th century progressed and cultural awareness developed the use of Cigar store Indians became increasingly less acceptable until today, when they are really only ever seen in museums or as historic relics inside stores with an explanation as to their former use.