A New Orleans-based cigar lounge and bar is set to open in downtown Pensacola this spring.
The Cigar Factory, a longstanding cigar maker in New Orleans’ French Quarter, has chosen to build their second location outside the Big Easy at 14 South Palafox Place in downtown Pensacola.
David Sharruf, founder and owner of the Cigar Factory, said Pensacola was an obvious choice for him when choosing to expand.
“I really love what they’re doing in Pensacola,” said Sharruf, who first opened the Cigar Factory in the French Quarter in 1999. “They’re doing a beautiful job in revitalizing the city.”
Sharruf said Pensacola has a lot of positive qualities for him as a business owner.
“For me, growing up in San Diego, I saw a lot of similarities in Pensacola,” Sharruf said. “When I saw what they’re doing here — it’s clean, progressive, and the city is really going in the right direction. Things are getting done here. Who wouldn’t want to do business in Pensacola?”
Sharruf purchased the building that dates back to at least the 1880s for $950,000 in December 2016. The building was formerly home to Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Florida who has occupied the building since at least 1993. The building was also once home to the West Florida Steam Bakery according to a 1900 city directory. By 1920, a jewelry story had occupied the building.
Palafox Street was once home to several cigar lounges and factories in the late 19th and through the 20th centuries, including the El Amo Cigar Factory at Jefferson and Zaragoza streets, the Martinez Cigar Factory at Main and Commendencia streets, Progressive Cigar Factory at 134 Intendencia Street, and the Owl Cigar Company on Palafox Street. The current building that houses Seville Quarter was built in the 1870s by the Pensacola Cigar and Tobacco Co.
Sharruf said once open, a cigar store with lounge seating will be located downstairs along with a full-service bar.
“It will be a smoking venue, obviously,” Sharruf said. “We sell and make cigars and this will be first store of ours that will sell cigars other than our own. We’ll also be the only full-service cigar store and lounge downtown and will have a full liquor license.”
Additionally, Sharruf said he’s also building a game room with a new courtyard in the rear of the building. The second floor will be home to an event space that can be rented out for parties.
“People will be able to come relax and enjoy a cigar and glass of Cognac on the balcony,” Sharruf said. “We want it to be nice but very casual. We want everyone to feel welcome when they come in.”
The Cigar Factory’s other locations in New Orleans include a 10,000 square foot cigar factory on Decatur Street and another cigar lounge on Bourbon Street in the Vieux Carré, commonly known as the French Quarter. Sharuff said the new Pensacola location will have an “industrial, historic” feel and will incorporate the original exposed brick walls of the building into the space.
The company is planning on a spring opening.
“We’re shooting for a spring opening, but we’ll definitely be open before summer,” said Sharruf. “It could be open by the end of May.”