Central Cigars Celebrates 25 Years as St. Pete’s Best Cigar Lounge


Since 1997, Central Cigars has been St. Pete’s premier place to find (and smoke) cigars. This weekend, the Central Avenue mainstay celebrates 25 years as a destination for aficionados, offering one of Tampa Bay’s largest cigar selections.

Central Cigars, the beloved lounge and sister bar to Ruby’s Elixir, has developed one of the best cocktail programs in town alongside its extensive cigar offering, boasting one of the hottest whiskey and bourbon lists deep in the region. The laid-back, rustic digs, paired with live music from Ruby’s, have made Central Cigars a destination for cigar, spirit, and music lovers.

As described by The Cigar Journal, “Central Cigars is the old cigar-smoking mainstay of the Burg, where people have been coming to light their sticks for years. You would think this place is completely old school from the description, quite the contrary. Central is a mix of old school and new school that makes it the #1 smoking spot in all of St. Pete.

Central Cigars born out of the need for a local cigar lounge

Inspired by a desire to bring Tampa’s cigar culture to St. Petersburg so locals wouldn’t have to cross the bridge, fifth-generation St. Pete native Greg Haddad opened his cigar shop in 1997. simply as a place where locals could buy and taste cigars and paraphernalia. Very quickly, the popularity of the store leads to growth.

In the early 2000s, a small coffee lounge was added next to the cigar retail area for customers to enjoy a cigar and relax. By the mid-2000s, Central Cigars had added a beer and wine bar, eventually evolving into a full liquor bar up front with the rear storage area turning into “The Havana Room”, a large lounge with upholstered leather sofas and chairs.

Photo via Central Cigars

Finally, in 2011, demand for live music led to the property becoming what it is known today, Central Cigars & Ruby’s Elixir, with live music seven nights a week, and cigars and drinks every days.

Central Cigars still offers the largest selection of cigars and paraphernalia in the St. Petersburg area, and Ruby’s Elixir is the only smoking live music lounge with a full liquor bar, hosting favorite local artists as well as national concerts. and on high-level touring. acts.

Central Cigars celebrates its anniversary with a weekend party

To commemorate 25 years in St. Pete, Central Cigars is throwing a weekend-long party March 25-27, complete with specialty cigars and cocktails, and of course lots of live music. In addition to special drink prices, Central Cigars is rolling out a range of cigars and spirits that you literally won’t find anywhere else.

Photos via Central Cigars

For those who love whiskey, the bar showcases its custom-crafted bottles of Jefferson’s Reserve Fool’s Gold. The spirit pairs perfectly with a long smoke when savored together. Fool’s Gold offers notes of leather, humidor, sorghum, nutmeg and fried apple pie on the nose, followed by flavors of cinnamon toast, caramel and brown sugar, culminating in a long finish with a hint of spice.

And while supplies last, there will be limited edition commemorative cigars for sale, all built at the Tabacalera Leyendas Cubanas factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Central Cigars offered a description for each.

  • brazilian maduro: Maduro is made from a blend using the best well-aged long leaf filler from the Dominican Republic. Wrapped in a beautiful soft and silky Brazilian maduro wrapper. The rich, slightly sweet Brazilian Maduro offers a very flavorful experience and is a medium-bodied smoke. This cigar has a very satisfying finish. It really is a very relaxing luxury smoke.
  • Connecticut Seed/Ecuadorian Shade: This Dominican-made cigar is very soft and smooth, with its Conn wrapper. and its flavors of sweet spices, it gives a little leather in the mouth giving a characteristic smoothness of Nicaragua with just a touch of spice. It draws and burns well with earthy notes, hints of sweet cream and a rich spicy finish.
  • Havana: The Habano provides a complex medium-bodied smoke that is very smooth without any harshness. Rolled with only the highest quality aged Dominican leaf that is matured and blended to achieve a rich, smooth taste. Habano imparts a smooth yet complex flavor with a wonderful aroma and satisfying aftertaste, making it an excellent smoke.

Live music at Ruby’s Elixir begins nightly at 7:30 p.m. Follow Central Cigars on Facebook for more details.

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