SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Glenn Genereux and Benny Blanchard met through a Facebook cigar club.
About a year and a half ago, they were interested in trading cigars and when it came time to plan a meet-up, they realized they lived a mere seven blocks from each other.
They connected on the corner of Central Avenue and Hanna Avenue in Seminole Heights and not only traded cigars, but formed a new friendship.
"One Friday night, Benny called me and said 'Can I ask you a question?' I said 'Yes I think we should open a cigar bar in Seminole Heights' and he said 'How did you know I was going to ask you that?'" Genereux said.
So, the accountant and massage therapist decided to fill a neighborhood niche and open Heights Cigar Shop.
"There was a series of moments when everyone was saying to me, 'There's no cigar bar or shop in Seminole Heights,'" Genereux said.
It took four months to find their location, a 1918 bungalow which they converted into their shop at 6207 N Florida Ave.
"This has been such a dream come true for both Benny and myself that our excitement exceeds words at times," Genereux said. "We both have been cigar hobbyists for probably 25, 26 years so we have a lot of experience with what we like. We wanted a clean, homey feel."
To that end, they try to limit the smokiness of the environment by installing a Purifan, which is an air filtering ceiling fan, and cabinet humidors.
Right now, the 1,000-square-foot building has two lounge areas with couches and flat-screen televisions, as well as an outdoor patio space. A third seating area is planned for the near future that will cater to more group-type meetings for games or private gatherings.
More importantly, the store carries all the major cigar lines.
They've been operating in soft opening stages for the past month with an official grand opening party planned from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday (Oct. 8). Drew Estates Cigars will host with specials, drawings and giveaways every half hour. There will also be 10 percent off purchases and up to 25 percent off the purchase of an entire box of cigars.
For more information, visit heightscigar.com.
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