A New Miami Smoking Spot
Posted: Jan 20, 2009 3:31pm ET
Last week I dropped in on Ernesto Padilla. I’ve always enjoyed Ernesto’s smokes (his Padilla 1932 La Perla is my go-to short cigar) and I needed to see his new base of operations. Like several Miami cigar guys, he is interested in rolling cigars in the United States.
Padillas have been around for a few years, but have always been made by someone else. Ernesto is taking the very big step of opening his own Miami cigar factory, complete with a comfortable smoking lounge and retail operation. The idea is to bring the concept of a cigar factory to U.S. shores and have the space for people to hang out and watch as cigars are made.
He has the space, a gorgeous spot right on Calle Ocho (8th Street) at the corner of 15th Avenue, across the street from Domino Park. He’s just waiting on the proper permits to begin rolling. In addition to Padillas, the factory will create a new version of Nub cigar called Nub Miami. In the meantime, it’s a pretty cool place to light up one of his cigars, which at this point are all made offshore.
I grabbed a smoke and took a little footage of Ernesto in his shop/lounge/fabrica. Check it out.
I love Little Havana, and it’s great to have Ernesto in the mix. Now you can visit a bunch of great cigar factories all within a few blocks: Padilla, El Credito Cigars, the home of La Gloria Cubana (down 8th Street a bit, near the corner of 12th Avenue), Pepin Garcia (right next store to El Credito), Casa Felipe, where some special Felipe Gregorios are rolled (a little farther down the street, between 9th and 10th avenue.) If you go slightly off Calle Ocho, you now have yet another option: Reyes Family Cigars, formerly Puros Indios, has about six rollers cranking out special Miami smokes at its smoking lounge, located at 114 NW 22nd Ave. (For a detailed smoking tour of Little Havana, including great places to indulge in a traditional Cuban sandwich or some hearty ropa vieja, click here.)
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