The “Bar and Grille” theme of this feature has led photographer Frank Barnett and me to explore, among other things, the subcultures surrounding wine, coffee, and craft-brewed beer. Guess what? Cigar makers and retailers are just as quirky, passionate, diverse, and customer-focused as their brethren in those other endeavors.
Like wine tasting, cigar smoking is a social activity; witness all the cigars that are consumed during male-bonding rituals such as football games, outdoor barbecues, and yes, fishing trips.
Tower Pipes & Cigars has been around in my hometown of Sacramento, California, for 45 years, and even though I have never smoked a cigar except for that one time in 1968 when Mary Cecile Cunningham and I were trying to impress the wrangler at a Santa Rosa dude ranch (we were about 19 at the time), I felt right at home walking in.
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