Smokeasy Noteworthy News Clips
Burlington-Based JR Cigars Cutting Inventory to Focus On Tobacco Products
In efforts to shift focus primarily on tobacco products, JR Cigars will be making changes to their three North Carolina locations (Burlington, Selma, and Mooresville) by eliminating books, clothing, towels, bedding, fragrances, kitchen gadgets, collectibles, toys, and a host of other good from their inventory. In addition, the 35,000-square-foot space in Burlington will be reduced to 13,000 square feet, and will include a cigar lounge which may also start to offer craft beer selections. The renovated space will also include humidors and meeting spaces.
JR Cigar is reportedly scouting additional locations throughout North Carolina to open similar-concept 6,000-square-foot stores.
Opening of New Davidoff Cigar Bar in Vegas Anticipated in November
The Davidoff Cigar Bar is still undergoing construction at the south end of the Fashion show mall plaza in Las Vegas, adn is pushing to be open in time for Cigar Aficoinado's Big Smoke Las Vegas, which starts on November 13th. The approximately 2,500-square-foot location has already reached construction costs of an estimated $1 million. According to details provided by local franchise owners, father and son team Frank and Matt Arcella, a state-of-the-art interior ventilation system will be a priority. In addition, there will be 50 spots for guests to sit on the patio facing the Wynn and Encore resorts across Las Vegas Boulevard. The bar will offer a menu of high-end premium pairings with focus on whisky. The walk-in humidor will feature imited edition cigars, such as the Davidoff's Year of the Sheep, Oro Blanco, and Las Vegas Edition lines. Other limited edition cigars will also be offered, like the Opus X Angel's Share and Padrón 1964 Aniversario Series.
The Arcellas also operate six Davidoff retail outlets along the Vegas strip, which includes full service stores and walk-up kiosks.
"Operation Choke Point" Choked
In news from the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), on July 29th the U.S. House Financial Services Committee adopted H.R. 766 (Financial Institution Customer Protection Act of 2015) with a 35-19 vote to eliminate Operation Choke Point.
Operation Choke Point has affected numerous IPCPR members by virtue of the the banking restrictions brought on by this initiative from the U.S. Department of Justice. These retailers have received written notice from both small and large banks terminating their businesses relationships. This program was launched in 2013 as a means to target certain “high risk” industries by pressuring banks to deny financial services to legitimate businesses for political reasons.
In short, H.R. 766 "prohibits a federal banking agency from formally or informally suggesting, requesting, or ordering a depository institution to terminate either a specific customer account, or group of customer accounts, or otherwise restrict or discourage it from entering into or maintaining a banking relationship with a specific customer or group of customers, unless: (1) the agency has a material reason to do so, and (2) the reason is not based solely on reputation risk."