Today, one of New York's and the tri-state area's finest cigar lounges was acquired by East Side Cigar Co. In a Facebook post, the now prior owners of Cigar Inn shared a letter which garnered heartfelt replies and support from their industry colleagues and loyal and faithful patrons.
Dear Cigar Inn Customers:
I wanted to share with you some important news about Cigar Inn. A subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, today has acquired The Cigar Inn stores and cigar lounges located at 1016 Second Avenue and 334 East 73rd Street.
I have full confidence in the new ownerships vision for the future of the Cigar Inn. We have painstakingly built this business with passion and pride over many years, and we were very particular about who we selected to take this to the next level. We believe the new team is the right people to do this.
“I am a long-time admirer of the stores that Gus, Billy and Bass Fakih have built at both Manhattan locations,” said Rob Norris, president of the Imperial Tobacco unit acquiring The Cigar Inn stores. “We intend to maintain the relevancy that makes Cigar Inn the No. 1 place for NYC cigar enthusiasts to smoke hand-made cigars and hang out.“
“Despite the change in ownership, no substantial changes are currently planned for the stores,” said Norris. They look forward to personally meeting all of our loyal Cigar Inn’s adult smokers and continuing the great work we have begun. We have been sharing our knowledge & insights to ensure each of your needs are met.
The Cigar Inn experience will not change and will only get better with more resources and support that Imperial Tobacco Group is able to bring.
Gus, Bill and Bass Fakih
As a result of the acquisition, the Second Avenue location will no longer be the home of the Cigar Aficionado lounge, according to Cigar Aficionado magazine, stating that it would be a conflict of interest to have their lounge in a location owned by the owners of a cigar company.
Although I am happy for Bily, Gus, and Bass and wish them all the best in their future endeavors, I'm not certain how I really feel about this acquisition. I truly hope that the unique Cigar Inn experience remains unadulterated.