J.C. Newman new website

A Record Year at El Reloj

This year, J.C. Newman Cigar Co. set a new record by welcoming more than 15,000 visitors to its 113-year-old El Reloj cigar factory in Tampa’s Ybor City historic cigar district. In 2023 alone, J.C. Newman led 850 guided cigar factory tours, hosted 80 weddings and other private events, and taught cigar enthusiasts how to roll more than 4,000 cigars. El Reloj has now become the premier destination for cigar tourism.

“Because El Reloj is the last traditional cigar factory still operating in the United States, my family and I feel a responsibility to keep America’s historic cigar-making tradition alive and share it with future generations,” said fourth-generation owner Drew Newman. “It is a privilege for us to be ambassadors for Ybor City, the City of Tampa, and the premium cigar industry. We love welcoming visitors from around the world to El Reloj and introducing them to the history, craft, and culture of premium cigars.”

In celebration of its 125 anniversary in 2020, J.C. Newman restored its iconic El Reloj cigar factory. It built a three-level cigar museum and began offering guided factory tours and cigar-rolling classes. Due to visitor demand, J.C. Newman is expanding beyond the walls of El Reloj and is developing the El Reloj District around the factory.

“Next month, we will open the new Cigar Workers Park,” said Newman. “We are also in the process of restoring the 113-year-old Sanchez y Haya Real Estate Company building across the street with an inn, café, and cigar lounge. We are working to relocate a historic cigar tobacco barn and begin growing cigar tobacco so that we can teach visitors about the entire cigar-making progress from seed to smoke.”

The Newman family expresses its sincere gratitude to Visit Tampa Bay and historic preservation officials in the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, State of Florida, and National Parks Service for their steadfast support of the restoration of its El Reloj cigar factory and the El Reloj District.


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