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Cigar Castle

The King of the Castle | Cigarfriendly: Tampa, FL

Anyone that lives in West Florida and loves cigars knows about The Cigar Castle. A haven of cigar enjoyment located just East of The University of South Florida, The Castle lies between Tampa and a suburb of Tampa known as Temple Terrace. When you ask anyone in the area what they like most about The Cigar Castle, the answer is virtually unanimous: Atul Solanki, the owner. Atul greets everyone like he is truly happy that you are at his shop! As is with any business or entity of any sort, the signature of the owner can be seen in every inch of the lounge. It truly feels like you are hanging out at your friend’s house. That mood is felt in the staff, the décor, and in the many cigars and adult beverages available to everyone.

HISTORY OF THE CASTLE

Atul purchased this building that currently houses The Castle 31 years ago. Back then it was just a beverage drive thru with an empty space next to it. In 2003, Atul opened up a cigar store and in 2009 the lounge was opened. These days in 2019 the establishment is 3 separate spaces all under the jurisdiction of The Kingdom of Atul. The Cigar Castle is on the left, The Beverage drive thru is on the right, and in the middle is The Pivo Lounge, a lounge for non-smokers. Whatever your consumption needs may be, they have you covered!

Cigar Castle - GM Rick

General Manager Rick in the expansive, value-rich humidor | Photo: Bruce Busch

CIGARS AND TOP SELLERS

In addition to top sellers; My Father, Fuente, Opus X, Liga Privada and La Palina Atul is on the forefront of bringing news boutique brands to Tampa. He is the exclusive retailer for brands such as Traficante Viaje and was the first to carry the popular Viva La Vida. The Humidor, which runs the length of the store, is a colorful array of boutique cigars as well as some of the stars from the big companies as well. With over 1300 open boxes of cigars, every pallet has many options. And Atul has some of the best prices in the state! No one likes overpaying for their smoke.

DESIGN OF THE LOUNGE

When entering The Castle, one can see many various cigar tools such as ashtrays, lighters, cutters and so forth on the right as well as some top shelf spirits such as Patron tequila, Johnny Walker Blue and Whistle Pig bourbon. These spirits are for package purpose at the front of the store. The bartender will be more than happy to pour you a glass of said spirits at the bar. Speaking of the bar, there are 50 beers on tap, over 200 open bottles of spirits and talented bartenders that can mix up any concoction that one would like. A collection of wines are also available.

Cigar Castle

A long view of the cozy bar | Photo: Bruce Busch

THE REWARDS OF BEING AT THE CASTLE

There is a reward system in place for those who patronize the castle. On the bar side of the lounge, patrons receive 1 point for every dollar spent on beverages and whatnot. When one’s point total reaches 500, a bar tab of $25 is awarded. If you refuse the $25 bar tab and make it all the way til 1000, a bar tab of $75 is awarded. The cigar side works on percentages of what is spent on smokes and accessories. Once 250 points is reached, the patron receives a $25 cigar tab. The rewards are plentiful for those who frequent!

BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

Every third Saturday of the month, Atul treats his regulars to breakfast. Come to The Castle on the designated Saturday and you will be treated to an omelette, roasted potatoes, Cuban bread and coffee. The smoking lamp is on during this feast, so obviously the last course of the meal is a cigar. The regulars who attend this breakfast are not on any sort of list or ledger. A simple head nod from Atul or Rick while patronizing The Castle and you are invited. After the morning #winning session and a cigar, the choice becomes whether to stay thru the middle of the day and be a drink slaying, cigar smoking warrior, or head home for a nap before your triumphant return to The Castle.

A NICE MATCH WITH A BALL GAME ON CAMPUS

If you are headed over to Corbett Stadium for soccer or to the Sun Dome for hoops, Cigar Castle makes a perfect pregame location for smokes, libations and merriment! Located only 5 minutes from campus, with easy access from I75 at Fletcher or Fowler you could leave moments before tip-off or kick off and not miss any action. As is the case with many professors as well as students from USF who wish to lesson plan, write or study in a more sophisticated environment, one can chill at The Castle and enjoys great aromas and relax in the serene, Atul-esque surroundings of this cozy lounge while one takes their studies or preparations to the next level.

Seating Capacity: 65 ppl
Cigars available: yes
Food available: no
Alcohol served: yes

Cigar Castle

Address:
11724 N. 56th Street
Tampa FL 33617

Phone:
813-985-1300

Website:
www.cigarcastle.com

Bruce Busch

Bruce's love for the leaf quickly became his passion after visiting cigar factories and tobacco fields in Honduras. After participating in the blending and selection processes for many cigar blends over the last 10 years, Bruce became a proofreader for Cigar Journal and has been for the past 3 years. He received his Master's in Foreign Language Education from the University of South Florida and has been teaching German and Spanish for over 15 years. Besides his passion for cigars, Bruce's interests include traveling the world and coaching soccer. He lives in Florida with his wife and 2 children.


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