Monday, November 28, 2011

Cigar Scene: Lincoln, Nebraska

For a small city, Lincoln has three respectably cigar shops in town, and all withing 10 minutes of the Poor Bastard's Cigar Lounge (my garage).

Ted's Tobacco:
Biggest humidor in town, they carry all the standard Altadis and General Cigar fare, CAO, Drew Estates, Fuente, Ashton, a smattering of Camacho, Oliva, Perdomo, plus some boutique frontmarks like Illusione, and Tatuaje, Plus they have a respectable spread for pipe smokers as well. Despite the large humidor, it seems less than lovingly cared for (depending on who's working) the occasional empty box or empty spaces dot the shelves, despite plenty of stock available.
There's no lounge to speak of, but April through October, the regulars still gather out in front of the shop on Monday and Wednesday evenings for a sidewalk herf. BYOC&B (bring your own chair and beverage). Winter, you're on your own.

Jake's Cigars & Spirits:
A small, 8x8' walk-in humidor, stocked with standards from CAO, Rocky Patel, Fuente, Ashton, Oliva, Perdomo, Torano, and upstarts 262 Cigars and Esteban Carreras. The big attraction is the fact that this is Lincoln's only official Cigar Lounge, with indoor cigar smoke permitted 7/365. The bar is well stocked with craft beers and an impressive collection of single malt, blended scotch, Irish whiskies and bourbons and there's plenty of seating. My only beefs are that the booths force groups of 6 or less, and the music gets too loud @ 9PM. It's nestled in the buttcrack of the UNL campus, and so it's more of a college bar in tone.

Cliff's Smoke Shop:
Prime downtown real estate, Cliff's has a 18x6' walk-in humidor, jam packed with standards Ashton, Fuente, Drew Estates, Oliva, Perdomo, DPG, Patel, and boutique brands Los Blancos, Tatuaje, C&C, and several smaller label releases. The owners aren't shy about branching out, listening to regular customers, trying new cigars and giving them shelf space. The owners actually work in the shop, and frequently give a regular a discount on his sticks. There's a little space for lounging and lingering while smoking a cigar, and the atmosphere is relaxing. I just wish their hours were longer (9-5 M-F, 9-1 S, closed Sunday) and parking downtown were a little easier.

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