While many tobacco products are widely available at convenience shops and grocery shops, there are many shops that are strictly dedicated to selling tobacco and tobacco accessories. Also known as tobacconist shops, these tobacco shops normally specialize in premium hand made cigars.
This is because most gas station, convenience shops and grocery shops do not carry premium hand made cigars. Another unique product line to tobacco shops is pipes and pipe tobacco. Because of the specialized nature of the inventory at tobacco shops, the design of the shops evolved into a hybrid mix of shop and lounge.
The early tobacco shops saw it as advantageous to allow their patrons to try the product in the shops before purchasing. After a while the shops became known as a place to go to have a smoke. To accommodate such gatherings many tobacco shops began to decorate and furnish their shops with arm chairs, TVs and leather couches.
These shops now host poker nights, club meetings and sometimes even fine dinners (often sponsored by cigar manufacturers and wine or whiskey distributors). Most shops today have developed a regular patron base that sometimes seems like a club.
The shops usually have a humidor that is separated into small lockers where the regular patrons can keep their cigars on site. Most tobacco shops are open late so that the patrons can see the end of the Monday Night Football game, or any other late night sports event. Another feature of the modern tobacco shops is the large walk in humidors.
The great benefit local tobacco shops have over online shops is that you can actually see and smell and feel what you are buying, so if you are trying something new, you really know what you are getting.
The club like quality of the modern American cigar shops was further fostered by the prevalence of indoor smoking bans in many cities and states today. Most of these indoor smoking bans apply to many of the most popular places to smoke such as restaurants, bars and coffee shops.