In May of 2007, Arizona's comprehensive smoking ban went into effect. Since then, finding a place to enjoy a cigar in cities like Phoenix and Tucson have been fairly difficult. You can smoke outside and the weather is certainly friendly in that regard, but sometimes it gets very hot in Arizona. Fortunately, cigar stores have figured out that a few leather chairs, televisions and WiFi make for a hospitable environment for cigar lovers. Such a store is Anthony's Cigar Emporium.
There are actually four Anthony's stores located in Tucson as well as a location in Phoenix that recently opened. In a town like Tucson, where the mercury often hits 104 degrees Fahrenheit, Anthony's is a cool place to watch a ball game and have a cigar. A stop at the local liquor store for a bottle of your favorite beverage can be useful as Anthony's is ready with an ice machine and welcomes BYOB. The East Broadway Boulevard store is about a 20-minute drive to Tucson International Airport, and if you're lucky, you'll get primo seats in front of the television when a ball game is on. Then check out the humidor.
Anthony's has brands and sizes you might have forgotten existed, if you ever knew they did. A.C.E., Caldwell, Foundation are some of the smaller cigar brands you'll find in the shop, and there are, of course, many of the better-known cigars. Alec Bradley, Arturo Fuente, Padrón, La Flor Dominicana, E.P. Carrillo, Oliva, Illusione, L'Atelier, La Palina and so on. Pick your favorites and then lean back in the leather club seats and relax in the lovely air conditioning. Pour your drink, sip and then take a puff.
The East Broadway location is Anthony's top seller. The shop is generally full of regulars, but everyone is welcome. Occasionally, friendly questions arise about where a newcomer is from and what they're doing in town. Small talk ensues.
The Anthony's on East Broadway has great ventilation. There are no smoke clouds, and that's impressive for a space that is a little bit cut up. Most of Anthony's Tucson locations are open only as late as 7 p.m. except for Fridays. The North Campbell Avenue is open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays, Friday and Saturday, and the Phoenix location doesn't close the doors until 9 p.m. except for Saturdays and Sundays, when closing time is 10 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. Not ideal, but they know their market. This is not a lounge. And it does cool off at night in the Sonoran Desert, making it a bit more comfortable to light up outside.
Anthony's Cigar Emporium
5350 E. Broadway Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85711
Information for all locations: http://anthonyscigars.com/
Open Monday through Thursday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.