Cigar Aficionado

Smokin’ in Saratoga Springs

The streets were jammed with strollers, enjoying the weather on an absolutely perfect Labor Day weekend in downtown Saratoga Springs, N.Y. My wife and I were out on Broadway, walking our Belgian Sheepdog, Chloe, and taking in the afternoon scene. We stopped into the Putnam Wine Market to see our friend William Roach (see July/August Cigar Aficionado, pg. 41) and then went to check out the expansion at the best bakery in North America, Mrs. London’s. As we ambled back toward the apartment, the breeze picked up and I got the unmistakable aroma of a cigar. I always scan the surroundings to see who’s smoking, but in this case, I couldn’t see anybody holding a stogie, but the scent of tobacco kept getting stronger.

On the corner of Broadway and Phila Street, just across from the stately Adelphi Hotel, I spied the Park Lane Tobacconist sign. And, inside the front door, there were people smoking, one with a pipe. I walked in. I could tell immediately that the shop had been built by people who understood the joys of a great cigar. The humidor was filled to the brim with outstanding smokes; all the most sought after brands were there. I picked up a couple of Tatuaje Tainos and went out to the counter. The dark wood shelves and the big overstuffed leather chairs gave the feel of a real gentleman’s club, but the windows looking on the Broadway gave the place a open feel too.

Park Lane was new this summer, which explains why I had never seen it. I go to Saratoga Springs frequently because my wife has family there. This summer was occupied with other things so we hadn’t visited in awhile. In the past, I’ve enjoyed the Saratoga Cigar and Pipe shop, which is an institution in the city, but it’s not within walking distance of downtown. Now, there’s a place to enjoy all the pleasures of one of America’s most quaint resort downtowns, and still have a cigar.

Check it out this fall. I’m sure you’ll agree.

"I'm a club member of the Park Lane tobacco shop. Being somewhat new to the pleasures of cigar smoking, I have found the staff at this establishment to be friendly and extremely helpful. They create a very friendly atmosphere which only adds to the pleasures of purchasing and smoking cigars there. They certainly make you feel appreciative of your business." —September 4, 2007 22:49 PM