Best Place For A Cigar

Anthony's Cigar Emporium

4811 E. Grant Road

7866 N. Oracle Road

STAFF PICK: The best place might be your patio or front porch, but if you want to hang with friends away from the house, slip into deep, comfortable leather sofas, watch sports, news or financial news, then stop at Anthony's Cigar Emporium. Both locations are cool and relaxing. Though no longer part of the holdings of founder Tony Martino, the gracious owner of Anthony's in the Catalinas restaurant, the emporiums retain their flair. The Crossroads location has the power to draw disparate, even rival, forces. For instance, combatants in the El Con Mall flap, Jose Rincon of the neighborhood, and Bob Gugino, one of the lawyers for the mall, have been known to drop in at the same time. Both stores offer humidor lockers--$250 and $350 a year. And both offer the full range of top sticks--Fuente, Ashton, Tony Borhani and his Bahia Golds, Padron Anniversarios. The north shop has a full selection of Davidoffs. Jared Biocca, the knowledgeable and fun crew leader at the Crossroads store, can fix your lighter or sell you a new one or any number of other accessories ranging from cutters to Elie Bleu humidors. The boys also are quick to make you an espresso or cappuccino. And you can even bring you own favorite port or cognac. Your best smoke will be outside watching the Vivace crowd with Gugi, Joe I., Oscar and Bruce.

LOOSE CHANGE: Head East & West, 2750 N. Campbell Ave. Just shopping for a good smoke at low price, head to Head East & West. Don't be daunted by the usual head-shop gear. The humidor is great. You might pay double or triple at the higher-priced places and the quality will be the same.

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