Cigar shops throughout history have traditionally been thought of as meeting places for the common man and the affluent alike. They are a melting pot for people from all walks of life. The historical significance of such establishments may be up for debate, but their importance to the history of cigar culture itself cannot be denied. These cigar shops are three of the cornerstones upon which cigar culture was built.
The Oldest Cigar Shop in the United States
There’s immediately some debate as to the oldest cigar shop in the United States. The issue comes down to the original entry on this list, and arguably one of the most famous cigar stores in the world closed its doors "temporarily" in 2015. 1 Demuth's Tobacco Shop opened in 1770 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania making it, had its door stills been open, easily the oldest cigar establishment in the country. Sadly, Demuth's has reportedly fallen into disrepair as of late. Hopefully, the shop will be brought back to its full former glory as the important piece of American history that it is.
As such the current oldest continuously running tobacco establishment in the country is Iwan Ries & Company. Originally founded as E. Hoffman & Co. in 1857 by German immigrant Edward Hoffman the original shop was a victim of Chicago’s notorious fires in 1871. In 1891 Edward, finding it increasingly difficult to manage the shop alone, recruited his nephew, Iwan Ries. The establishment was renamed Iwan Ries & Co. in 1898 and has remained as such ever since.
The Oldest Cigar Shop in the World
À La Civette is indisputably the oldest cigar shop in the world. Established in 1716 in Paris, France À La Civette celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2016. Well known for serving so many royals and dignitaries such as La Fayette and Napoléon III the cigar shop has a rich history. Located just across from the Louvre Museum the shop is located in an ideal spot to serve many of today’s most established French businessmen and politicians.
The name of the shop is derived from the cats by the same name native to Africa and Asia. The civette’s anal glands were utilized to produce a highly fragrant secretion that was used to perfumes of the time and occasionally as an aromatic in tobacco. Today the civette can be clearly seen upon the façade of the cigar shop.