‘Smitty’s Cigar Den’: There’s another new store in downtown Lock Haven

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Jim Carman, owner of Smitty’s Cigar Den, at right, and his nephew Logan Shoemaker, left, are pictured inside the store with a variety of cigars between them that are available for purchase.

LOCK HAVEN — A unique business is calling one Water Street store home.

Smitty’s Cigar Den, 140 Water St., is owned by Avis resident Jim Carman with his nephew Logan Shoemaker operating as the business’s tobacconist — a dealer in cigarettes, tobacco, cigars, and other items used by smokers.

“I’m kind of the cigar man. So if anyone is interested they can come on down,” Shoemaker said.

From finding the right cigar and tobacco for you, understanding how to cut them properly, how to smoke them and more, Shoemaker can help find the right fit for anyone new to the product or returning to the hobby.

Carman’s love of cigars came from his father, who the store is named after.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Logan Shoemaker, the tobacconist for Smitty’s Cigar Den, gestures to a poster which offers some basic cigar knowledge.

“It was a hobby of my dad’s,” he said. Carman became more interested in cigars five years ago and, after a visit to a cigar den in State College, he decided he wanted to open one of his own.

“I went to the Cigar Den in State College and something came over me,” he said with a smile.

For Shoemaker, he’s always had a fascination with cigars and the history behind them. Then Jim purchased him a six-pack of cigars and the rest is history.

Shoemaker said the image a cigar can conjure is a large origin to his interest in the product. “When you see a cigar you think of gangsters like Al Capone,” he said with a grin.

Smitty’s Cigar Den offers a wide variety of cigars to choose from.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Jim Carman holds a personal cigar humidor which is available for purchase at Smitty’s Cigar Den.

“They’re over 90 rated, one of the highest ratings. A lot of these were cigar of the year several years in a row,” Shoemaker said.

The store also sells small humidors — which help keep cigars moist and in good condition — ash trays and cigar cutters. And soon it will be offering a small cigar lounge for customers to enjoy their product in a calm and relaxed setting.

“It’s kind of an indoor haven for someone to come and relax over the holidays when they’re sick of hanging out in their garage,” Shoemaker said. “They can come here, relax and enjoy a cigar and meet others who enjoy them.”

Shoemaker encourages customers to ask questions and even take a look at some of the informational posters they have on their walls.

Carman said he hopes in the future to transform the backyard of the space into a patio with a fire pit.

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS A picture of Al Capone rests on a ledge in Smitty’s Cigar Den. Capone, also known as Scarface, was a historically famous Chicago gang leader. The American gangster and businessman rose to fame during the Prohibition era and was notorious for always smoking cigars. Because of Capone, cigars are often synonymous with the early 1900s gangster era.

“It can be another space for customers and maybe bachelor parties,” he said.

Since opening the store a few weeks ago, Carman said he’s always excited to come to the business after his day job.

“I have a smile on my face every time I leave work and come right after,” he said.

Smitty’s Cigar Shop is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and closed Sundays.

Shoemaker noted that in the future he will begin rolling cigars at the shop as well. Currently he is receiving his certification to become a full time tobacconist. He said cigar lovers can look forward to a localized blend in the future.


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