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Evansville
Monday, December 5, 2022

Man Cave

On the East Side, a onetime boiler room turned vacuum cleaner shop is now Cigar! Cigar!, a new humidor and lounge where leather is the preferred material for furniture. The revamped store, thanks to Hinderliter Construction, feels like a man cave, admits co-owner Tom Ashby. Men constitute a large portion of the cigar-smoking population (Ashby estimates 90 percent), and he caters to that crowd. Not that women won’t feel comfortable. Our photographer Natalie Greer immediately propped her feet up inside.

Cigar! Cigar! is the second business venture for Ashby since August 2007 when he launched American Legacy Fishing Company, a superstore with high-end fishing equipment. We covered Ashby’s entrepreneurial spirit in our April/May 2008 issue (“Don’t Spare the Rod”). His hobby of plucking big fish from big water became a multimillion-dollar company, and now Ashby’s goal is to turn his decades-long love of cigars into a profitable business.

Ashby opened the cigar shop in November 2011, and as much as he is selling cigars (more than 500 types ranging from $2 to $50), he also is selling an experience. The 60-inch television comes loaded with channels, the art deco paintings show scantily clad women and debonair men, and the leather furniture is comfy. “It’s a relationship business,” Ashby says.

Cigars matter, though. The climate-controlled, walk-in humidor keeps the merchandise at 70 degrees with 70 percent humidity. “That’s the perfect environment for cigars,” Ashby says. Too humidified, then the cigars collect too much moisture (making it hard to keep them lit). If kept too warm, an infestation of tobacco beetles happens.

Outside the humidor is the lounge where air quality is Ashby’s main concern. When Ashby met with companies of air filtration systems, representatives suggested he use one and a half ultra-quiet air purifiers to reduce the cigar smoke and smell. Ashby bought five. The idea is to keep people in the store: A good cigar takes 45-60 minutes to smoke; it’s about relaxation.

For more information, visit www.cigarcigar.us.

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