The Holy Grail for cigar lovers is the elusive Cuban cigar. Once they’ve tried a Cuban, aficionados will come back for more. Lucky for them, the Tinder Box Internationale in historic Charleston is the only supplier of legal Cuban cigars – those rolled from pre-embargo tobacco – and locals and visitors alike have made this small shop a regular destination.
The Tinder Box is a full-line tobacconist, offering gourmet cigars along with pipe tobacco, imported and domestic cigarettes and all the accessories a smoker could want.
“We have the largest selection of handmade cigars in South Carolina,” owner Tom Chatburn said, “including those from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua.”
Chatburn adds that the Tinder Box also carries a good selection of humidors, cutters and other accessories that are part and parcel of the ritual of smoking. Customers are invited to light up and relax in the Tinder Box’s smoking lounge.
Those looking for a headier experience move upstairs to Club Habana, the city’s only cigar-martini bar. Yes, smoking is not only permitted but encouraged while sampling some of the finest liquors and wines available.
“We have Charleston’s largest selection of scotches, bourbons, vodkas and rums,” said Alisha O’Neill. “And we offer a really good light appetizer menu. The cheese board is very popular.”
O’Neill said Club Habana has many regulars, both local and those who come to town on business. They appreciate the vast array of liquors and wines that are available.
“Our mojitos are famous,” she said, adding that the bartenders are very knowledgeable in all aspects of mixology.
Club Habana also offers tastings and special events such as cigar and scotch pairings.