When Jeff Borysiewicz decided to open a cigar shop, three words rang through his mind: big-box retailer. Instead of opting for the traditional cigar shop model, where some cigars are out on display and more are stacked in the back in inventory, he decided to put everything out for the customers to see.
“There’s no sense hiding it,” he says quite simply. “I humidified the whole store. It’s like a Disney World of cigars.”
Fitting that Borysiewicz’s Corona Cigar Co. is headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the land of Disney World. The three shops he has in the Orlando area are loaded with all manner of cigars, from inexpensive smokes made just for his shop to $5 to $8 premium brands making up the meat of the U.S. cigar market to $30 rarities that are hard to find elsewhere.
Corona Cigar Co. stores also boast spacious smoking lounges. The lounge in the 5,000 square-foot store on Sand Lake Road, which also is home to the company’s corporate headquarters, has vast seating and a beer, wine and Port bar. The store in Heathrow is smaller, but has an Avo cigar lounge.
The finest Corona Cigar store in Orlando is the newest, located downtown, at the corner of Orange and Pine, near the old Rosie O’Grady’s building and mere steps from the University of Florida.
Home to a Diamond Crown lounge, the 8,500-square-foot store brims with cigars of all types. “The idea,” says Borysiewicz, “was to build a place, a mecca, where if you don’t like cigar smoke, you’re in the wrong place.”
I shot a little video of the vast downtown store; take a look.
Corona downtown has a full bar and a luxe cocktail menu. Bartenders prepare drinks using fresh juices, no mixes, and there are rare bottles of old booze on display, such as straw-wrapped jugs of pre-Castro Bacardi rum and Prohibition-era flasks of whiskey, some with the doctor’s prescription still intact. It’s for medicinal purposes only, of course.
You can read more about Borysiewicz in the August issue of Cigar Aficionado, on sale now.
Corona Cigar Downtown
127 South Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801
Corona Cigar Sand Lake Road
7792 W. Sand Lake Rd.
Orlando, FL 32819
Corona Cigar Heathrow
1130 TownPark Ave.
Lake Mary-Heathrow, FL 32746