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Where to Smoke

King Corona Cigars, Tampa, Florida

Dec 29, 2011 | By David Savona
King Corona Cigars, Tampa, Florida

Years ago, the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, Florida, was the cigar capital of the world. Proud, brick cigar factories standing a few stories tall, each laid out east to west to allow the sunlight to flow into the large windows, dominated the landscape. The port of Tampa was nearby, allowing bale after bale of rich tobacco to come in from Cuba, only 337 miles away. More cigars were made here than anyplace else.

Those days are long gone, but Ybor is still a place of cigars, with a museum dedicated to the craft and a few companies (among them Arturo Fuente, J.C. Newman and Oliva Tobacco Co.) still calling Ybor their home. It’s still a place of fine cigars, and one of the finest places to puff in Ybor is King Corona Cigars.

One part cigar shop, one part cigar lounge and one part bar, King Corona has a little bit of everything. Located on Ybor’s busy 7th Avenue—home to all manner of shops and eateries, including the historic Colombia Restaurant, King Corona has a stellar cigar selection. The humidors stretch dozens of feet in width. There are Fuentes of every size and shape, La Glorias, Olivas, Padróns and just about every other brand you know.

The space to sit and puff is impressive. You can smoke in a high-backed chair near the humidors, at one of several four-top tables near the entrance, at the bar, in the back lounge or even in the seats outside, which are covered for protection against those frequent Tampa thunderstorms.

Back to the bar. If you come in hungry, King Corona makes a good Cuban sandwich (please, order it the Miami way—no Cuban sandwich needs lettuce or tomato), and the bar is a great place to eat and puff. There’s a big coffee menu, and the place makes a great café con leche. It also serves Cuban coffee, espresso and cappuccino, regular joe, and a café corona, a combination of espresso and milk with a dose of caramel and cayenne pepper. The bar also stocks wine and beer, as well as Ports.

The best way to enjoy King Corona is to walk in, select your smoke, then choose your seat. You can read La Gaceta, written in English, Spanish and Italian, a paper billed as the nation’s only trilingual newspaper, which reflects Ybor’s heritage of Spanish and Italian immigrants. Or log onto the shop’s WiFi, order a cup of Cuban coffee to go with your cigar, and spend some time watching the crowds hurry by.

King Corona Cigars
1523 East 7th Avenue
Tampa, Florida (Ybor City)

Monday to Wednesday: 8 a.m. - midnight
Thursday: 8 a.m - 1 a.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m - 2 a.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. - 12 a.m.

"A favorite place to sit, have a drink and smoke, and have a great conversation after dinner at another Ybor City favorite - Columbia restaurant." —November 17, 2012 20:23 PM
"I stopped in for the first time last Friday and I was in heaven! I sat and enjoyed one of their house brand "Ybor City Handrolled" cigars along with a cup of Cuban coffee and it was a wonderful experience. I'm looking forward to going back and spending some more quality time." —July 31, 2012 01:49 AM
"I visited Ybor city and the museum in 2001 and the ambiance and cigar culture is the best I have experienced. I am from Alberta. Canada. I enjoy Cuban cigars here regularly, but enjoy others just as much and for less pesos.. Vince Paniak" —April 10, 2012 22:01 PM
"We are regulars and few places are better " —January 8, 2012 00:15 AM
"After relocating to the Tampa area a couple of years ago, I stumbled onto Ybor and King Corona. Ybor is a great little section of the city that seems to have it's own rich history, and distinct local flavor (and scent... of cigar smoke!). King Corona is definitely my favorite place to not only shop, but also light up and relax. They have a great staff and a fairly decent selection... it's definitely a must-see when you're in town." —January 3, 2012 19:46 PM
"I too have been there several times. It is always the highlight of my trip to stop in and have a smoke and a drink. If you are in the area it is well worth the trip to spend a day on 7th Ave, Ybor style." —December 31, 2011 18:17 PM
"Been here several times. David is quite right about the wonderful atmosphere. If you want to immerse yourself in true cigar history, walk the streets of the, as David stated, "cigar capital of the WORLD", then you need to plan a trip here. There are a couple hotels directly within the Ybor area. Others are not far away and it is accessible from several downtown areas by trolly car. Make sure you visit the History museum adjacent to Centennial Park on 9th & 19th. Enjoy and long ashes. Sorry I missed you David." —December 29, 2011 16:24 PM

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