Pipe News

Romeo’s Downtown Pipe & Tobacco Co.

Rogers AR – Frank Romeo, 48, can tell his customers, "Put that in your pipe and smoke it." He can also sell them the pipe and other products for tobacco smokers. He opened Romeo’s Downtown Pipe & Tobacco Co. in November with wife Pamela, 51.

Frank Romeo opened the business after feeling the need for a bulk-blend tobacco store closer to his Bella Vista home. The location in Rogers’ downtown appealed to him because the couple loved the cobblestone streets and historic decor that meshes with the relaxing and traditional image they wanted for their business.

Smokers tend to be loyal to brick-and-mortar stores, customer Zach Hoyt of Pea Ridge said.

Romeo said the camaraderie of other smokers and the opportunity to handle the selection of pipes appeal to smokers. He also sees the advantage for his customers of walking out with a new pipe or cigar to try immediately rather than waiting for a package to arrive after an Internet order.

Romeo calls the current era the golden age for pipe smokers. Many pipes now are handcrafted, and the design of the wood is one of the factors to check for quality. He jokes that once someone becomes a smoker, he may get PAD, pipe acquisition disorder, or TAD, tobacco acquisition disorder. As with many hobbies, frequency of use leads to the wish to taste a new pipe or another blend of tobacco.

The aroma of a pipe or cigar can bring back memories from childhood, Romeo said. Many customers recall enjoying time with their grandfathers, who smoked a certain blend.

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One of his favorite activities at the store is teaching new smokers the proper process for smoking. How to prepare the pipe, to properly draw on it and how to clean it are all important to the experience.

"It’s definitely a learning process to smoke a pipe properly," he said.

Pipes can be bought by customers of any age, but minors can’t buy tobacco products. Pipes in the store range in price from $25 to $95, and Romeo can order pipes not in stock, some of which can cost $250.

While there are comfortable chairs inside for enjoying a pipe or cigar, some customers also like to sit outside and enjoy watching the active downtown. Usually jazz music is playing softly in the background as a smoker slowly enjoys a pipe or cigar with company.

Romeo’s pipe club will meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 12 for its second monthly gathering. The club will affiliate with the International Association of Pipe Smoking Clubs.

Romeo’s Downtown Pipe and Tobacco Co.
111 S. 2nd Street
Rogers, AR 72756
(479) 636-7473

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 11am – 7pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Closed Sundays

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    wallbright
  • September 23, 2010
I stopped by Romeo's today and I must say Frank is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. He is a bit quirky and has that mad scientist cine but it is a good thing in my opinion. We talked for two hours about pipes and tobacco and he even gave me a few samples. A very cool hangout and it may seem like a hole in the wall place but they have a cool smoking area and he even founded a local pipe club. Very fun and interesting place to visit. He did note though that the hours in the article are incorrect. He is open:
Monday - Friday: 11am - 7pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Closed Sundays
Give the place a visit if you are in the area. Since he just opened up his shop close to two years ago the shops collection is still growing. The shop is kind of small but that's all you need in a small town. He has a walk in humidor and then a pipe tobacco shelf on the back wall of the front room. A nice collection of pipe tobacco and he said he will be ordering more soon. So stop by and help a local shop owner out he is truly one of the nicest shop owners I have ever met. 
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    Kevin
  • September 23, 2010
Thanks Tyler. That was one of the first articles we ever published. Frank and I started our pipe businesses around the same time.
I corrected the store hours in the article. Thanks for that correction. What pipe shop would actually open at 8 am? Where did that come from? LOL.
I added the map with directions to his store as well to make it easier for people to find him for a visit.
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    Wallbright
  • October 25, 2010
Thanks for updating the article Kevin. As far as where the hours came from, Romeo said that someone posted those hours online without his knowledge or confirming them with him and they spread like wildfire. He is now trying to correct what he can but the damage has been done and he said he doesn't think he will ever find all the places his shop is listed to correct them. Also, thank you for the map. I actually got lost the firs time I visited him I called him and he was able to give me directions. The shop has changed a little bit on the outside and is more discreet looking than the picture portrays it. I will try and snap a picture this weekend when I go to show a difference but I don't know if I will remember haha. Anyways, keep up the good work Kevin.
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    wallbright
  • March 8, 2011
Hey I thought I would post an update. Romeo's has moved to Bentonville and has changed its name to Romeo's Uptown Pipe & Tobacco Co.. Here is a link to the blog with some more details. http://romeospipe.blogspot.com/
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