Howdy fellow Cigar and Pipe Smokers,
What a month February's been. We started out with news that the second oldest family run Cigar shop / Lounge was sold to Altria, a division of Phillip Morris, leaving only Barclay Rex as the last family run establishment in New York.
Which brings me to the title of this post. Myself, Dimitri Sassov, and Vernon Vig were charged with securing a venue in New York that would accommodate our celebration of IPSD. Back in October, Halloween weekend to be exact, I was at Barclay Rex's new shop on 126 Pearl Street enjoy the launch of Tatuje's Halloween Cigar. They had a party where all in attendance were in costume. I happened to meet the owner, Vincent Nastri's daughter Vanessa. We talked and I broached the idea of the New York Pipe Club doing an event with the store. I suggested us collaborating on celebrating IPSD in February. I also suggested this to Joanna Ubowska, a sales associate. They were both receptive to the idea but had to run it past Vinnie for his approval.
At the December meeting myself and Dimitri proposed the idea of holding IPSD at Barclay Rex. Club president Lou Carbone was keen on the idea and presented a list of questions that he wanted addressed before he could announce the event to the membership. Back and forth email between Joanna and myself were exchanged. Eventually all was resolved and the event was a go.
Fast forward, preparations were underway for the event when we learned that Nat Sherman was sold to Altria making Barclay Rex the last family run shop in NYC. This made the event more special. This was conveyed to the members.
Event day February 18th, Saturday, came and as always the NYPC and our sister clubs, the South Jersey Pipe Club, and the Christopher Morley Pipe Club (Philly) came out in full force. Also in attendance were pipe smokers who were on the store's email list. We were able to also invite Joyce from Lane Tobacco, a division of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, to join our event. She spoke about what the FDA's pending ruling meant to the industry. She said as long as the blend contained components that has been in the marketplace there were no issues. She also spoke of lawsuits that they had filed delaying the implementation of the ruling. Barclay Rex came thru with a special tobacco blend that featured a 12 yr old Virginia blend with Turkish Orientals. A tasty blend that became. (I was privy to be one of the tasters who was involved in getting the blend to it final stages) . The club and the Lane rep bought tobaccos for the attendees to sample. Members brought bottles of liquor for all to enjoy. Barclay Rex offered 20% off all pipes and included a hand made Barclay Rex pipe, carved by Vinnie's grandfather. They also provided light bites which consisted of an Italian smoked meats platter, chips and guacamole dip, and also an onion dip as well. A raffle for an antique pipe tobacco jar was also held.
Sadly 😢, the event came to an end, as must all good things. But feedback gathered, event was positive with all on attendance very impressed. Maybe we'll do this next IPSD event there as well.
As I close this post, the first in a long while, we had a blast and anyone wishing to get a sneak peak at our event can check out my Facebook page, Patrick Grant, for a sneak peek of Facebook live videos I shot of the event. Pictures of the event are posed on the New York Pipe Club's Facebook page.
Join me at Barclay Rex on Monday February 27th as we celebrate National Cigar Day, featuring a whiskey tasting. Event is from 1pm - 8pm at the store at 126 Pearl St.
Also next pipe club event is the New York Pipe Show, March 11th, at the Wyndham Newark Airport Hotel to be followed by a trip to JR Cigars in Whippany NJ.