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.
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.