Best Cigar Prices, which sells premium cigars and accessories via the internet, telephone, catalog and at its facility in the CAN DO Corporate Center in Drums, held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for Best Cigar Pub, the company’s new state-of-the-art store, lounge, bar and restaurant scheduled to open in the late spring of 2019.
The two-story addition will add just under 3,000 square feet to Best Cigar Prices’ existing 25,000-square-foot building. The company expects to have 60 employees following the expansion, an increase of more than 20 percent over its current workforce. CAM Architects, Ltd., of Wilkes-Barre assisted Best Cigar Prices with the design and Kingston contracting firm Champion Builders, Inc., will construct the addition.
When the expansion is completed, customers will have the opportunity to shop Best Cigar Prices’ entire catalog while comfortably dining or enjoying a cigar in a number of different atmospheres, including two outdoor areas.
Best Cigar Prices CEO Greg Fox said, “Best Cigar Pub will offer cigar enthusiasts a unique experience few others can compete with. Our vast selection and uncompromising attention to quality and service will create a true cigar destination rivaling some of the best in the country.”
CAN DO President and CEO Kevin O’Donnell said, “We have always believed that a retail headquarters was a perfect fit for the CAN DO Corporate Center and Best Cigar Prices’ full expansion plans will only add to the success they have achieved since they relocated here seven years ago. What they have accomplished in their short time in Greater Hazleton is truly remarkable and we’re excited for the next phase of their business endeavors.”
The first-floor outdoor space will offer a comfortable al fresco dining experience, featuring tables shaded by semi-transparent canopies, fire pits for night time gatherings and a custom-designed, undulating putting green. The second-floor deck, which will be accessible from either outside or inside the building, will have additional seating and standing custom drink rails.
The bar and restaurant area will include an illuminated onyx bar top and cultured stone fireplace. The menu will feature a tasting board of Italian meats and cheeses, appetizers, fresh salads, flatbreads and pressed sandwiches. Some items will include seasonal produce from many of the more than 10 farms located within a few miles of the restaurant. The food and beverages will focus on cigar and tobacco pairings. A large selection of scotch, whiskey and bourbons will be on hand as well as a fine coffee selection from around the globe.
A state-of-the-art air purification system, a collaborative effort from some of the top air handling professionals in the country, will replace 100 percent of the indoor air with fresh outdoor air, cooled or heated to room temperature, every three minutes. This custom design was conceptualized to allow for both smokers and non-smokers alike to have an enjoyable experience. A private, smoking conference room will be available for rent to small parties looking for a place to have business meetings, club gatherings or other small get-togethers.
The second-floor lounge will include a cozy seating area that will be open during normal business hours and direct access to the deck. Patrons who enjoy this space will have full server accessibility in a more relaxed, lounge-like atmosphere. Another private, smoking conference room will be available here as well. Equipped with state-of-the-art televisions and wireless presentation capabilities, this space will comfortably accommodate meetings of up to 10 people. Larger parties will be able to reserve the entire lounge for private events.
The retail store and walk-in humidor will showcase hundreds of cigars and accessory products in display cases. Touchscreen kiosks will be placed throughout the space for those wishing to purchase something that’s not available in the display cases. The kiosks will provide access to purchase from Best Cigar Prices’ inventory of more than 8,000 products, including brands like Padron, Rocky Patel, Acid, Oliva, Macanudo, Romeo y Julieta, and more.
Once an order is entered, warehouse humidor employees will carry the order across the facility and safely drop it in a special receiving area, all within minutes. A live stream of the process may be made available to view while a customer is waiting for the order. Customers also have access to a private locker lease program, where they can store their cigars and accessories in a temperature- and humidity-controlled locker until they are ready to leave.
Fox said, “For more than 20 years, Best Cigar Prices has been committed to offering our customers the best selection of premium, handmade cigars with the best service online. While our efforts to date have primarily focused on e-commerce and catalog sales, the idea of a retail store has been on our minds for quite some time. The idea took shape recently as local customers began to take notice of our operation. Despite no initial advertising or even a formal retail store, a small, but steady stream of business developed from walk-in traffic. What started as customers wanting to save money on shipping costs, organically grew to more and more cigar enthusiasts visiting to purchase products, tour our facility and tap our wealth of cigar knowledge. We saw this trend as the perfect opportunity to test the validity of a potential retail store and lounge here in the Northeastern Pennsylvania market.”
Best Cigar Prices, formerly known as New Global Marketing, was founded in New York in 1997 in a private residence, using closets in the bedrooms as humidors, Fox said. The business quickly outgrew those accommodations and moved into a building in the early 2000s in Rosendale, N.Y. In 2007 the company moved to a 10,000-square-foot facility in Kingston, New York, before relocating to its current location in the CAN DO Corporate Center in 2011.