Archive for the ‘Juan Lopez’ Category

J Lo is back, Elections and More By Frank Seltzer

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Nope not that J Lo, instead it is much older, Juan Lopez  a very old Cuban brand that had been sold by Altadis but then kinda got dropped. As I reported from IPCPR, the company is re-invigorating the brand while keeping the classic Cuban look.  Today the new Juan Lopez is a Nicaraguan puro using a Nicaraguan Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan Criollo binder and Nicaraguan fillers.  These are really tasty cigars and come in three sizes Number one at 5” x 54, Number two 6” x 54 and Number three at 6” x 60 in 16 count boxes…the best news is the price, around $5 each.


Elections Matter

There is a lot of East Coast news going on today.  First up is the New York City Mayoral primary.  This is the time to finally get rid of Nanny Bloomberg.  I have not paid really any attention to the politics of NYC, although I assume the next mayor will be almost as bad as Bloomberg.  But at least Weiner’s experiencing shrinkage….in the polls that is.

With that being said, there is a guy running on the Republican side that ya gotta love,  John Catsimatidis.   Last week he held a “friendraiser” at Cigar Inn in New York.  (He didn’t expect contributions since he is a billionaire.)  According to midtown store manager Geshon Sakha:


  “He enjoys a cigar every now and then,” Mr. Sakha said of the candidate, who frequents the uptown location. “He comes with his friends Saturday morning after breakfast. He smokes a few different brands—sometimes Davidoff, sometimes Padrón and sometimes the house blend.”

Despite the beleaguered-minority role cigar smokers and the emporiums that service them project—”He will abolish the Nanny State,” Mr. Sakha vowed of Mr. Catsimatidis.


Although the candidate himself was a bit more circumspect.  He even refused to smoke a cigar because “there was a reporter from the Wall Street Journal” in attendance.  The reporter from the Wall Street Journal, however, was impressed with our culture.


Say what you will about cigars and cigar bars, but they may be among the few places in New York—a city, despite what anyone contends, that indulges elites and that traffics in exclusivity—where you’re accepted, whether hedge-fund manager or handyman, simply because you possess the intellectual gifts to enjoy cigars.


The other person running for mayor on the republican side Joe Lhota has famed cigar smoker Rudy Giuliani in his corner.

Mahogany goes Ashton


Philadelphia is getting a new/old cigar bar on Thursday.  The Ashton Cigar Bar opens right above Holt’s store in Center City at 1522 Walnut.  The locale was the home to Mahogany since 1997, but Holt’s decided it would be better for them to own the joint. So Holt’s and Ashton’s owners –Robbie Levin, his son Sathya and daughter Meera — will be running the place. After some remodeling, the new Ashton Cigar Bar will debut with the feel of a luxury cigar bar and of course will carry the Ashton, Ashton Aged Maduro, Ashton Cabinet and the Ashton VSG  among others, but according to the Phildelphia Business Journal it will have a few new wrinkles:

In addition to a wide range of cigars, it will have more than 200 whiskeys and signature cocktails. The space is outfitted with plush lounge chairs, flat-screen televisions and a state-of-the-art air purification system.


“We’ve taken significant steps to make all of our guests feel welcome, even those who may not have ever set foot in a cigar bar before,” said Levin. “Our customized air purification system comes from the same manufacturer that provides systems for many of the country’s top hospitals and casinos. Our goal is to keep the air crisp and clean at all times.”


Sathya and Meera are the third generation in the family business.



Disney to Drop Sosa


By the end of the month, Downtown Disney will be closing its only cigar shop.  Fuego by Sosa Cigars has been a mainstay of the area for many years.  I have never visited the place because of my aversion to The Mouse.  (Yeah, I worked briefly for Disney through one of its tentacles.)  But lots of people are upset that Fuego is going away because it offered an adult oasis in the Disney universe where you could get an adult beverage and smoke a cigar. (Given Florida’s nutty smoking laws this is a great thing.)


The official reason is that Disney is doing a remodel of Downtown Disney and as a result the company is not renewing the lease of the store.  There is a petition to fight the move.  You can go here to sign it.


A House is Not a Home

My House in Winter


Ocean City









A house is not a home, but today I am feeling a bit out of sorts.  You see the two homes pictured above were my homes for a good part of my life.  As a T-V guy, I mostly lived in apartments and moved around a bit…a lot actually.  The Ocean City home was my grandparents who bought it in 1957 and we would stay there every summer..  It stayed in the family until 2006 (49 years) when we sold it to help pay for my mother’s medical care.  A developer bought it and leveled it and put up two huge two story condos.  Alas, Ocean City is not now I remember it anymore.  Too many people and with the big structures no breeze from the ocean.  You need air conditioners now, before we never needed them even three blocks from the ocean.

The one on the left was the first home I actually bought in 1985.  It was built in the 20s and while it had its problems, it was home to me and my family.  Pets who lived and died there and my lovely wife who decided we needed more room and were tired of the Mc Mansions going up on our block.  We sold the house in July having moved across town.  Yes the old place was a bit drafty at times, needed work but it was a home.  Today I drove past and saw that the developer who bought it has made it no more.  Pity.

all that remains

Another two story Mc Mansion will arise.  The thing is our old neighborhood was a “conservation district” to prevent or limit this type of thing.  What ended up happening was that WE would have had to stick to strict guidelines if we wanted to fix our house..but the developers get a pass.  Another brilliant government solution.   Progress is great, but sometimes it stinks.


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