Smokin' Hot 3

Cape Coral’s “World Famous” Cigar Bar

Early in his career, it’s reported, Thomas Edison lived on apple turnovers, coffee and cigars. Years later, when promoting his inventions, he organized grand events, including lavish dinners, in smoke filled halls.

Cape Coral’s “World Famous” Cigar Bar represents today’s go to place for relaxing, savoring the finest hand rolled cigars, enjoying an extensive collection of rare liquors and having a plated dinner served from the restaurant next door. “Our place is like a social club” said owner, Rich Castiano, “where everybody is invited.”

No smoke-filled rooms here… Equipped with a state-of-the-art ventilation system, the only scent one encounters when entering this immaculate, casual but elegant establishment, is a blend of aromas; leather, cedar, molasses and vanilla, among others. The cigars are stored in a separate room, the humidor, where an ideal temperature is maintained. Humidity is controlled by an antimicrobial humidifier.

Wednesday night is Ladies Night at “World Famous” Cigar Bar. Manager and co-owner, Paul Staab said of Ladies Night, “Most of the ladies are smoking cigars.” Tomima Edmark, author and avid cigar smoker, wrote of an event she attended where she noticed a man who kept staring at her. The man eventually approached her and said, “I’ve waited all my life for a woman who smokes a cigar!”

Starting with one tiny cigar store twenty years ago, Castiano, who owns two other “World Famous” Cigar Bars in the area, is passionate about his trade. He staffs his establishments with Certified Tobacconists and arranges trips for them to visit top cigar tobacco producing countries such as Honduras and Nicaragua. “I want them to experience the place and the process,” he explained. Other leading producers are The Dominican Republic and Cuba.

Hundreds of hands have touched a hand rolled cigar before it’s ready for the consumer. Cigars consist of three parts. The filler, a blend of long leaf tobacco, is squeezed into a roll to form the core of the cigar. The core is then secured by a binder, another single broad leaf. The final step is the wrapper, using another leaf variety. The wrapper is the most flavorful and expensive part of a cigar. Finally, the cigar is placed in a wooden mold to insure uniformity.

During the 15th century, native inhabitants of the Americas initiated European explorers in the pleasures of smoking tobacco. The first tobacco crop established in the United States was in Jamestown, VA in 1612. Cigar manufacturing began in Florida in 1869 when Vicente Ybor, formerly an owner of a cigar factory in Cuba, moved his operation to Key West. In 1885, he relocated to an area northeast of Tampa which became known as Ybor City.

Thomas Edison always had a cigar in his mouth during long hours of experimentation. He’d let it go out and then light it again. This led to his unsuccessful attempt to invent a “perpetual cigar.”