Tobacco farms and factories, I learn, are closer to Santiago, Dominican Republic.

The Arturo Fuentes Cigar Club, in Santo Domingo, is a retail store, a gathering place for those who love their cigars, a party place later in the evening for anyone who wants to shop, have a drink, book one of the private smoking rooms, or just sit in the common smoking area and share cigar stories with people who love to share some of their favorites..

Alan, my cigar brother, tells me he met Carlito Fuentes at a cigar exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada a few years back and has a photo of Carlito and himself with Carlito’s sister. Alan likes the “858” Maduro’s and appreciates the civic works of the Fuentes family.

This morning the store has just opened up, the cleaning staff is at work, and the receptionist is kind to show me the cigar vault, answer questions, wait for me to call my brother, and show me some of the Club’s refinements. One of the coolest features is a little room off the main lobby that has individual lockers stocked with their owners personal stash of cigars so they can have one any time they are in the Club without waiting. One of the lockers is owned by Angel Jimeniz, the professional golfer.

The sales girl finds a nice box for the cigars I buy for Alan, rings up the sale and packs them nicely, calls me a cab and advises me that the cab ride is ” not more than two hundred pesos ” which turns out to be 100% correct.

Next time back, I’ll dress nicer and spend more money.

The people on this island are exceedingly gracious.

This morning’s adventure has almost made me wish I smoked cigars and had my own personal locker where I could listen to Angel talk about playing in the British Open.

If they had a store in the Zona Colonia, I would be there every evening.



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