Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
Alec Baldwin, May/June 2004
(continued from page 2)
I am a successful mortgage banker. After a long week, my associates and I enjoy going to the local T.G.I.Friday's for a Scotch and a cigar or two. We had been doing this for a couple of years. One night we arrived to watch a college basketball game. As usual, I opened my traveling humidor and lit up a wonderful cigar that had arrived a couple days earlier.
I was informed that T.G.I.Friday's no longer allows cigar smoking in the bar area and that I would have to immediately extinguish my cigar. I was rather surprised, considering that after a quick visual survey, there were over twenty patrons smoking cigarettes. I asked the bar manager why patrons can smoke cigarettes, but cigars are prohibited. He replied that it was a new corporate policy. I informed him that we would be happy to take our business to a proprietor that does not distinguish between cigars and cigarettes, and that, of course, our dollars will leave with us. On average, we spend approximately $200 every Friday, as a group, and sometimes more than $500, depending on the size of our group. He gave me the corporate office's phone number. The next day, I spoke with a vice president of operations, but basically was told that's the policy. If we don't like it, go somewhere else.
We have since found several new local establishments that welcome cigar smokers. We have not gone back to T.G.I.Friday's. We now spend our money where we, and our cigars, are welcome.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I've been smoking cigars since about 1935. I started with Havanas, eminently affordable then. I recall the glory days when I had a reasonably well-paid job, and I would buy from Zino Davidoff at his store in Geneva. A niece of his was a good friend of ours and that got me a small discount. But that's long ago. Now a good cigar costs about 50 to 100 times what it cost then.