(June 6, 2014) With the installation of its sign this week, Señor Cigars can finally call its 33rd Street shop home.
The cigar shop featuring some hard-to-find brands operated out of its 78th Street location for more than a decade, but moved about a month ago when that building’s ownership changed hands.
The change has been good, said Bruce and Carolyn Kennington, co-owners of the shop.
“It’s totally different,” Carolyn said of the new location.
“I think it’s going to be really good,” said Bruce.
The Kenningtons started negotiations for their 33rd Street storefront last November, landing on a lease March 1. Then came a slew of renovations, from installing an indoor smoking lounge to a 400-square-foot, walk-in humidor.
“It was a lot of work,” Carolyn said. “It was a whole build-out.”
The effort was worth it, though, as the new Señor Cigars boasts the upscale, indoor lounge where visitors can enjoy more than 200 cigars bearing more than 100 makers’ marks sold at the shop. And with its collection of animals Bruce brought back from safaris in Africa and British Columbia decking the walls, the lounge is one-of-a-kind.
Visitors come to the store to do more than smoke in the indoor or outside areas, though — most are on the hunt for the perfect cigar.
“We consider ourselves a cigar boutique because we specialize in things that are hard to find,” Carolyn said. That includes cigars ranging from $2 to $30 apiece and brands such as OpusX, Liga Privada, Ashton anniversary collections and Padron anniversary collections.
Newcomers need not feel intimidated if they don’t recognize the names, though — the Kenningtons’ staff is well versed in cigars and can help guide customers.
“If you’ve never smoked a cigar to if you are a cigar aficionado, we can help you,” Carolyn said.
The shop also carries cigar-cutters, lighters, humidors and e-cigars.
The Kenningtons have been in the cigar business for 20 years, though they aren’t cigar-smokers themselves. A former IMB employee, Bruce said the move started at the Mall in Columbia, where the Kenningtons ran several kiosks.
“We accidentally got into the business because Carolyn was talking to the mall management,” he said. “They were talking about maybe opening a cigar shop,” and Carolyn jumped on the opportunity.
After some time, the Kenningtons moved from the mall to Ocean City.
As Carolyn put it, “We just saw the need down here” for a cigar shop.
The Kenningtons ran their business out of a repurposed home on 78th Street for 20 years, but both agree the move to the 33rd Street Plaza should bode well for their business.
“We’re in the strip center whereas before we were totally alone,” Carolyn said. “I think it’ll help being on that corner where a lot of activity is.”
Señor Cigars on 33rd Street and Coastal Highway is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The shop will remain open year-round.
Contact Señor Cigars at 410-524-2069.