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SoHo, Hyde Park retail expansion includes new Montecristo cigar store

Construction barricades, cones and heavy equipment line West Swann Avenue in the Hyde Park area of Tampa. Developers say the work is nearly finished. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]
Construction barricades, cones and heavy equipment line West Swann Avenue in the Hyde Park area of Tampa. Developers say the work is nearly finished. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
Published Feb. 23, 2017

TAMPA — South Howard is getting a cigar bar.

It's one of a number of new retail offerings under way in the SoHo-Hyde Park area.

Mike Howe, owner of the Tampa Humidor shop on Busch Boulevard in North Tampa, is opening another location with a new name on SoHo's main strip.

Casa De Montecristo will open this June at 510 S Howard Avenue, next to The Lodge. The current structure, built in 1960 and for many years the home of a hair salon, will soon be demolished. The new building is about 2,200 square feet, including an outdoor patio area for customers to sit with a drink and enjoy a cigar. It will feature vaulted ceilings, an open floor plan, and a state-of-the-art air purifying system.

Unlike Howe's other location, Casa De Montecristo will have a full liquor license.

"Montecristo is one of the most renowned cigar brands in the world. Having the name on (the store) will be recognizable to anybody who smokes," he said. "We're well positioned there not only for the foot traffic of the SoHo area but also to South Tampa. There's nothing like it down in that area."

Cigar prices will range from about $6 to $40 each. The location will employ about 10 to 15 people.

"It's a place to meet and talk business and talk sports," he said. The store will not carry electronic or regular cigarettes, hookahs or pipes.

Just up the street on South Howard Avenue, Panera Bread recently announced it is kicking off home and office delivery within the Hyde Park area. Customers can order through the Panera Bread app or at and schedule delivery any day between 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is a $5 minimum order and a $3 delivery fee. It is the first of about 30 Panera locations in Tampa Bay and Sarasota to launch the new service.

Construction is moving right along on W Swann Avenue in South Tampa's Hyde Park Village.

The street work is nearly complete in front of Goody Goody restaurant, and new traffic lights have been installed at the intersection of W Swann and South Dakota avenues. But new construction zone cones have been set up further down Swann, between South Rome Avenue and the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway overpass.

Village spokeswoman Gabby Soriano said W Swann should be fully functional by late spring. A retail store, Surf Outfitters, is opening for business between Goody Goody and the CineBistro movie theater this week. A Tampa-based candle store, Seventh Avenue Apothecary, will fill in the vacant spot next door to Surf Outfitters in March.

The vacant "H" building, across the street from Buddy Brew Coffee and Piquant Epicure & Cuisine on West Snow Avenue, has been demolished. Workers will break ground on a new building over the summer, Soriano said. When finished, it will house the high-end, female-focused Meat Market steakhouse, among other retailers.

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Contact Alli Knothe at Follow @KnotheA.


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