Thankfully, you don’t need to be a deceased, gray-haired genius to enjoy a nice stogie. Offering new flavors – think honey and mocha – and tasting experiences, modern tobacco shops have diverse appeal, with wine-bar-style classes tailored to novice and non-traditional smokers. Great minds agree: These Valley tobacconists have something for cigar newbies and aficionados alike.
Scottsdale Cigar Club
14525 N. 79th St., Scottsdale
As the largest non-private
smoking lounge in the state, this club offers a bevy of resources for novice and experienced smokers. Owner Brad Berko has written two cigar manuals and hosts the state’s only cigar radio show, “The Best Damn Cigar Show” (on 1510 AM and simulcast on 99.3 FM on Sundays from 12-1 p.m.). With seating for 50 and a bar, patrons can choose from hundreds of cigar varieties, or even take to the outdoor three-hold putting green. The club celebrates its sixth anniversary this month, so keep an eye on their event calendar for specifics.
Magnum’s Cigars, Wine and Spirits
731 E. Union Hills Dr., Phoenix
Since 2005, Magnum’s has been a go-to lounge for pairing cigars with libations. Head into the 450-square-foot humidor, and select a cigar from the 1,000-strong list – don’t worry, experts are there to help you. After that, stroll into the speakeasy-style lounge to learn how to puff or pair it. At the bar, mixologists and cigar experts offer recommendations from a menu of 500 beers, 300 wines or 600 whiskies, among many other spirits. Magnum's owner Amar Patel is quite dedicated to his passion: He fought for his lounge after the 2006 ban on smoking in bars, took it to the Arizona Supreme Court, and won.
Ford and Haig
7070 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale
Ford and Haig is a laid-back, Western-style cigar lounge, rich with history. For more than 50 years, this shop in Old Town Scottsdale has attracted the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Milton Berle, Bill Cosby and multiple sports figures – in fact, the store bills itself as a place where “captains and kings can meet with the common man, but on equal terms.” Reportedly, the first climate-controlled, walk-in humidor was built here, and the shop walls and ceiling have developed a dark, coffee-colored patina from all the tobacco smoke over the years.
Smoke and Joe
29850 N. Tatum Blvd., Cave Creek
Tucked away in Cave Creek, Smoke And Joe combines two compatible addictions: caffeine and nicotine. And it has a healthful side. The upscale lounge’s walk-in humidor houses more than 60 lockers for customer cigars, hundreds of which can be purchased to enjoy in leather chairs, on the large patio, or while playing at the establishment’s poker tables. On the other side, there’s a non-smoking area where organic coffee, baked goods and seasoned nuts from a variety of local businesses are served. Bring Dad to their Father’s Day event on June 20 (1-4 p.m.) for a sundry showcase of Nicaraguan cigars.
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