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 The Cigar Lounge Dilema...

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phillpsych

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Age : 61
Location : Northern Illinois
Registration date : 2010-01-24

PostSubject: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:03 pm

A gentleman by the name of Larry, (I don't his his last name yet), opened a cigar lounge about 1/4 mile from my office. I noticed the sign today, "Cigar Lounge Now Open"... and of course, had to stop in and check it out. It is BEAUTIFUL. It's huge, with pool tables, and several nice seating area's, beautiful top end humidors for sale, an awesome selection of cigars, and stunning, model-like "sales associates" working the counter. I am always in favor of smoking establishments, and love a good cigar on occasion. So I do not begruge my cigar smoking brethren, but...

Not a single shred of pipe tobacco in the place.

I saw this as an opportunity, and struck up a conversation with Larry. We talked about pipes and pipe tobacco. I dispelled a few myths he held about us pipe smokers, and finally convinced him to dedicate some shelf space to a small "starter selection" of tobaccos. He was under the impression he needed bulk tobacco and scales and storage and bags, etc... I enlighted him on some premium tins he could carry.

I told him I would consult some pipe smoking buddies as to what would be a good way to get started in pipe tobacco sales, and he is waiting for me to give him some suggestions. He told me that once I have a reasonable list of what to stock, he will buy it, dedicate some shelf space to it, and see how it goes.

So... pipe smoking buddies... what do you think? I told him I was being completely self serving, but considering his location near Woodfield Mall, in Schaumburg, IL, if he got a reputation as a purveyor of top quality blends, he could count on several regular customers, as long as his prices were fair. He is very open to this, and I see it as a great opportunity. Who knows, maybe he will eventually stock some pipes and other items for the pipe enthusiast.

Please give me your thoughts on this. I am also going to go to my very first pipe club meeting on Saturday evening, and will bring this query to the meeting, and if there is time and interest, I will ask the guys there as well. But I'm starting here first, because as I have learned in my short tenure as a member here... you all have a lot of knowledge you are willing to share, and no shortage of opinions, and I value both, greatly. Enlighten me, please.
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Puff Daddy
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Age : 53
Location : South of heaven
Registration date : 2007-12-09

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:17 pm

A good reference on what sells well would be this list: http://www.smokingpipes.com/tobacco/tinned/bestsellers.cfm Note at the bottom that it also lists their top 100 best sellers. This website is a big hit and much respected source among the Brethren of the Briar and I believe it's a solid representation of what your in-the-know pipesmoker actually buys and smokes. You could scroll down the top 100 list and probably come up with the top 10 manufacturers pretty easily.

I did not do that, but I will give you my favorites.

GL Pease - Widely regarded (and justifiably so) as the most talented blender in the states and who's blends have very loyal followings. His stuff is legendary.

Samuel Gawith - Classic English blending house producing legendary, time tested classics.

Cornel and Diehl - American Blenders with quite a following.

McClelland. Possibly the best Virginia flakes made in the states.

If he stocked just these four, he's put smiles on the faces of any experienced pipes who may wander in Very Happy

There will be the matter of finding the lawful distributors for wholesale buying. With the three American blenders, that would be pretty easy, just call em. I'm not sure who imports Samuel Gawith or the other various top selling import blends you'll find on that top 100 list, but I'm sure others here will chime in.

Best of luck! Try to get you local pipe club to meet there occasionally Smile

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DoverPipes

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Age : 49
Location : HUDSON VALLEY NY
Registration date : 2009-05-24

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:53 pm

phillpsych wrote:
A gentleman by the name of Larry, (I don't his his last name yet), opened a cigar lounge about 1/4 mile from my office. I noticed the sign today, "Cigar Lounge Now Open"... and of course, had to stop in and check it out. It is BEAUTIFUL. It's huge, with pool tables, and several nice seating area's, beautiful top end humidors for sale, an awesome selection of cigars, and stunning, model-like "sales associates" working the counter. I am always in favor of smoking establishments, and love a good cigar on occasion. So I do not begruge my cigar smoking brethren, but....

I will be in Wheeling for the 2010 ILEETA Conference.
Where is this shop? I would like to have a place that is close by to go each night where I can smoke a pipe or cigar since the Westin Hotel does not have a smoking lounge. Last year, the weather was horrible. It rained almost the whole conference. We considered going to Iwan Ries in Chicago, but the traffic heading into the city was out of control.
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phillpsych

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Age : 61
Location : Northern Illinois
Registration date : 2010-01-24

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:27 pm

Dover, there are three places you can go to enjoy a smoke, two of them do sell pipes and tobacco, the third is the one I mentioned... First, Cigar King in Skokie. Second, Cigars and More in Libertyville... and if you decide to go there, it's two blocks from my house, and I'd be honored to stop over and have a smoke with you... and Third, The Cigar Lounge in Schaumburg. All are not too far from where you will be. Going to Iwan Ries, if you have never been there, is a good idea, but as a practical destination, not so good, since it is in the heart of the Loop, and parking is difficult. Nevertheless, it's a great place. I would look up a map of where these towns are in relation to where you will be staying... and then email me or ask me here... I will give you my best advice on ease of travel... etc. Oh, BTW, Cigar King has the largest walk in humidor in the Midwest. It is something to behold. They even have a walk-in humidor for bundles, and I'm told, but have never been in it, a humidor for the pre-embargo Cubans they have in stock... a lot of them. Anyway...
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DoverPipes

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Age : 49
Location : HUDSON VALLEY NY
Registration date : 2009-05-24

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:41 pm

While I was typing my question, I hit up google maps and the trip would only be about 15 minutes away. Much better than going to Iwan Ries (as much as I would like to see it in person, I have zero tolerance for Chicago traffic & parking B.S.) I will keep you posted as the trip gets closer. It would be nice to hang with a fellow B.O.B. CHEERS!!!! Very Happy
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Carlos
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Age : 60
Location : Chestnut, IL
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:02 pm

Only thing I could add, is for him to check out the Chicago show. Here is the link.

http://www.chicagopipeshow.com/

Click on the show tab for activities, times, dates etc.

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Kapnismologist

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Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:18 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
McClelland. Possibly the best Virginia flakes made in the states.

marginal correction: Possibly the best Virginia flakes made in the states.
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dougc905

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Age : 54
Location : Brampton, Ontario
Registration date : 2009-01-11

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:50 am

phillpsych wrote:
I dispelled a few myths he held about us pipe smokers

What myths? Like, that we're all a bunch of cheap so and so's who will show up, use the facilities and not buy anything? Or maybe that we will sit and nurse a soft drink for three hours and then leave without tipping the staff? Or maybe the one about us criticizing the inventory all the while buying our stock off e-tailers?

Here in Toronto, for the past 20 years or so, I have hung out with both pipe & cigar clubs. My observation is that while the cigar fellows will crack the wallet to actually buy merchandise or food from an establishment, the pipe guys by and large, fit the above description to a tee.

Anyway, a selection of tins would be ideal and the above are all excellent suggestions.

Suffering from a lack of sunlight and I'm grumpy,
Doug
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ftrplt

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Age : 71
Location : Split between Raleigh, NC and OKC, OK
Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:30 pm

Good point!!!! Years ago I read a missive written by Lew Rothman (of JRCIGAR fame!) about visiting B&M's when he traveled. He always bought a few stogies while there. His point? We/you/I gotta' support the B&M's if they are to stay in business!! I invariably buy some bulk or a tin or two when I go to a B&M. I usually throw in a stogie or two, plus the one I'll smoke while looking or relaxing over a cup of coffee. Makes good sense and, quite frankly, exhibits good manners. FTRPLT
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daveinlax

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Location : Wisconsin
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:40 pm

I know what you mean about cheapskate smokers. My personal rule of thumb is $15 dollars of merchandise per hour of hanging out. Some guys get comfortable at a place, they use it as a remote office for a $4 stick. Shocked
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Carlos
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Age : 60
Location : Chestnut, IL
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PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:15 pm

I have never had trouble spending money in a cigar lounge. Very Happy

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phillpsych

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Age : 61
Location : Northern Illinois
Registration date : 2010-01-24

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:31 pm

What's a B&M?
And I too, believe in supporting local tobacco retailers, but at this point, I need to build my cellar, so I only go to places that carry tobacco, so I can. I figure I'm spending as much on one or two cigars as a tin of good tobacco... so I stick with the pipe, since I enjoy that more anyway. That's why I want to help this guy out, since he's willing to play along and stock some good stuff. I'm going to be self- serving, and try to get him to stock the stuff worth cellaring. I normally go in to my regular places, buy a tin to cellar, and smoke what I brought in with me. He doesn't know, I supported his business and paid for my hour of smoking, and we both win. Anyway, that's how I look at it. I don't know much about tobacco, it's a long learning curve for me. But, being a pipe smoker, I'm patient, and since the learning curve involves smoking the stuff I'm trying to learn about... it's way worth it.
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:20 pm

phillpsych wrote:
What's a B&M?

Brick & Mortar. The cigar lounge would be a B&M. etailers are not always a B&M.

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Doc Manhattan

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Age : 39
Location : Land of Steady Habits
Registration date : 2008-05-26

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:34 pm

I'm lucky in that my local tobacconist does most of its business as a bar, so I never feel badly about smoking from my own kit and contributing by having a beer or scotch.

The fairest arrangement is probably just to sell membership over a set time period to a smoking lounge, as some B&Ms have done already. Not saying I'd necessarily pay for that privilege, but it is equitable, and it's reminsicent of the days of The Club, as in, "Darling, if anyone comes calling, I'll be at the Club."
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the macdonald

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Age : 42
Location : Windsor CT
Registration date : 2008-08-31

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:59 pm

Doc Manhattan wrote:
I'm lucky in that my local tobacconist does most of its business as a bar, so I never feel badly about smoking from my own kit and contributing by having a beer or scotch.

The fairest arrangement is probably just to sell membership over a set time period to a smoking lounge, as some B&Ms have done already. Not saying I'd necessarily pay for that privilege, but it is equitable, and it's reminsicent of the days of The Club, as in, "Darling, if anyone comes calling, I'll be at the Club."

"The Club," oh do I dare to dream? A cigar lounge is selling memberships near my old place but I moved. I think it is a great idea, but they have 3 levels of membership and it is starting to seem a little too complex, and it is sort of the Saprano set these days. I wish there was a real Club in my area to have a quiet dinner, cognac and a pipe among proper society.
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PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:02 pm

the macdonald wrote:
I wish there was a real Club in my area to have a quiet dinner, cognac and a pipe among proper society.

Amen to that!
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phillpsych

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Age : 61
Location : Northern Illinois
Registration date : 2010-01-24

PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:22 pm

Of course, here in MORAL and UPRIGHT Illinois, where everyone lives lives without sin, we have a no smoking ban in place. The only place one can smoke indoors is in an establishment that sells tobacco and that has to be at 85% or something like that. No bars to enjoy a beer while smoking. I suppose private clubs are an idea... but I once mentioned to a friend that I would like to open a nice smoking establishment tobacco type shop on the North Shore... and he reminded me that the men who live there can afford to put a smoking lounge in their homes. Now that's what I'm talking about. I am going to build myself a man cave and smoke to my hearts content. In fact, I'm sure some of you BoB's have such a place at home... and I would love to hear about that. I will never smoke in my house as long as I am married to the woman I live with, and that isn't going to change.... hmmm... nah... I'll keep her.
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: The Cigar Lounge Dilema...   Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:32 pm

No private clubs can allow smoking in Illinois. It's defined in the law.

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