Hittin’ The Town: the art of cigar smoking

People have been lighting up at Third Street Cigar in Waterville since 2014.
People have been lighting up at Third Street Cigar in Waterville since 2014.
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Cigars date back centuries. There are places all over town dedicated to lighting up and hanging out with fellow stogie aficionados. Third Street Cigar in Waterville has been in business since 2014.

Josh Malone is the Managing Partner and co-owner of the smoking lounge.

“I didn’t start smoking in a cigar shop. I started on a front porch at the end of the day once or twice a week watching the sunset. That grew into a hobby that obviously continues today. The more I learn, the more I am intrigued by it,” Malone said.

There are public and private spaces here. There’s a bar and the walls are loaded with incredible music memorbilia from the Toledo area and the space is open for private events.

“You are welcome to have an event here. You an cater the food, and we’ll supply the drinks and cigars. We’ve done everything from fantasy football drafts to bachelor and bachelorette parties,” Malone said.

You can also just wander in and learn more about cigars.

“We studied a lot and took classes, and a big test to be able to help everyone from novice to expert cigar smokers. We help them select a cigar that fit them,” Malone said.

When it comes to cost, there’s a wide range of prices. “The average cigar price in this ship is $8-9. I can go as low as $5, or as high as $27-28 per cigar. There is a range for everyone.”

There are also a lot of flavors to choose from.

“Some are very spicy. You’ll get a black pepper taste. Some are smooth and sweet, there’s a natural sweetness in the wrapper. Others are flavored, they literally have flavor put in them.”

Cigars are made all over the world in places like Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Those who smoke them say making a cigar is an art form. The craftsman are known as rollers, and there are some in our backyard.

“There are plenty of rollers, small-time guys trying to get into the business and making their own cigars. We have one locally in Sandusky called great lakes cigars.”

So does Malone have a favorite?

“I do not. I do have a flavor profile to stay in, but because I run the shop I have to know a little bit about everything. So I am all over the humidor.”

Through the years many people thought of cigar smoking as a hobby mainly for men, but that is not the case now. This place is a good example of that. There are dozens of women who come here to light up on a regular basis.

“It’s had that stigma for about 50 years. That is slowly being eroded by younger, independent women who have found that cigar smoking is something they can enjoy.”

Malone says this space is for everyone over 21.

“I want you to feel comfortable coming into our shop. There are no ifs ands or buts about it, everyone is welcome here. I might not have anything in common with the person I am talking to other than cigars, but we can have deep conversations over a cigar,. We solve world problems here every day, it’s just there aren’t a lot of people listening to us.”

Third Street Cigar also hosts charitable events. If you’d like to learn more, click here.

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