Turlocker Elias Martinez is a cigar aficionado – no easy task for a man living in a town without a cigar shop. Like many locals, Martinez was forced to drive to Modesto or even Fresno to find the sort of premium cigars that enthusiasts enjoy. He even had to equip himself with the best travel cigar humidor just to bring some cigars home for him to enjoy.
But earlier this month, that all changed. Martinez decided to turn his passion into a business by opening the doors of Ciganos Fine Cigar Lounge in Downtown Turlock, the city’s first cigar shop and lounge.
“I thought it would be good for the community,” said Martinez. “It’s a good place for networking, as it’s really a unique crowd that smokes cigars. A lot of serious cigar smokers are coming in and enjoying it here.”
From high-end cigars reaching $30 each to $3 cigars, Ciganos Fine Cigar Lounge has a wide variety of premium cigars for all cigar-smokers, whether beginners or connoisseurs.
“We touch on every demographic and every different type of cigar smoker,” said Martinez. “We have flavored cigars, mostly with tobacco from the West Indies, such as the Honduras and Nicaragua.”
Not only can cigar smokers purchase their cigar of choice at the lounge, but they can also stay, sit, and smoke the cigar while socializing with other customers and friends. The lounge also features a walk-in humidor to help keep the cigars and tobacco moist.
“We’re just adding to the culture, as Turlock is ever changing and getting a little more cultured itself,” said Martinez. “I thought it was ready for a premium cigar lounge in town.”
In the three weeks the lounge has been open, Martinez said he’s received a lot of positive feedback from the community and local cigar enthusiasts.
“We’ve had really good, positive feedback. People like the look of the lounge, and we have a lot of the higher-end staple cigars that the serious cigar smoker will recognize when they walk in,” said Martinez. “You can either sit in the lounge or take it with you, and people are enjoying that.”
Ciganos Fine Cigar Lounge is located at 101 E. Main St. in Downtown Turlock, across from the Turlock Chamber of Commerce.
Hours of operation are currently 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Ciganos Fine Cigar Lounge is currently closed on Sundays, though Martinez said that will eventually change.