It’s a place to hang and talk. It’s a place to josh and network.
And, in a world full of establishments where it is verboten to smoke, it’s a place to issue plumes, streams and rolling clouds of smoke out of your mouth.
For all these reasons, that’s why there’s a steady flow of visitors all day long into The Squire Tobacco Unlimited shop at 108 Capitol St. in Charleston WV. Cigars are the predominant reason for the air’s spicy tang inside, but pipe smokers contribute their fair share of flavors.
Owner Charlie Morgan couldn’t be happier. Cigar or pipe in hand, ensconced on one of three comfortable sofas angled for conversation, he often reigns over the camaraderie.
Not for long, though. The next moment, he’ll dash off to the register or into the store’s big humidor to hunt down a customer’s favorite cigar from among the 600 or so boxes of handmade custom brands he stocks.
“Usually, I’ll have eight to 10 people in here on a lunch day. I just get a wide variety of people,” Morgan says. “The neat part about it is they sit down to socialize. They’ve become friends and they would not know each other otherwise.”
It’s certainly a manly hangout, but not wholly so. Morgan’s customers include scores of women each month who come in to buy cigars. “My wife also comes in here and she smokes her cigars as well as I do,” says one regular, Matthew Robertson, of Charleston.
Bob Lucas of Cross Lanes says he stops by often as he likes to take his cigars with a little company and a lot of talk.
“There’s a bunch of people that share what I like, there’s always good conversation – and there’s always Charlie,” says Lucas. “Once I found it, it became home.”