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Smoke and Ash in Ashmore

Updated: Dec 23, 2023

by Warren Saydenworth

Gold and blue trim about wooden relief panels, the walls were fresh and clean, cut from the imaginings of exotic luxury. The floors ran wooden, a rich dark brown, with the same indulgent feel as the panel walls, giving a warmth and a welcome to the guests that entered the establishment. Looking upwards, four golden squares gave brilliance to the ceiling, framed in ventilation duct, artfully framing and somehow reflecting the light, while providing circulation to the place, drawing in air from outside and filtering the interior up and away. It felt like a cathedral to indulgence, as I walked the place, and it wasn't long before I made the acquaintance of Mr. Kazuo Nakazama, owner and proprietor. This cultured man made me feel welcome and assured me of Smoke and Ash's qualifications, taking me into a conversation that felt relaxed and reverential, pleasant and formal. It spoke volumes to the nature of the place itself. We spoke of many things - the draw of Ashmore, the rarity of such a smoking lounge in such a small town, the providence and prominence of the nightlife of Ashmore and how it influenced the entrepreneur to break ground here. Smoke and Ash is more formally known as Smoke & Ash - VIP Cigars. Despite the drive to build and open as soon as possible into the New Year, Mr. Nakazama was methodical at hiring local help to see to the fine details of his enterprise. No expense was spared in seeing to both the regulatory and aesthetic needs of the design.

Located at 205 Maple Street, just by the Laundromat, and across from The Green Man pub, the smoking lounge stands out by its pristine and fresh quality, shining in the light of the midday sun, or lit by the streetlights at night.

The cigar lounge offers more than just quality, premium sticks of cigars, selling pipes, tins of tobacco, cutters, humidors, cigarette holders, lighters, travel humidors, cigarette cases, lighter fluid, ashtrays, and humidor maintenance supplies. The owner has plans to begin offering other services, such as a VIP subscription based service in which subscribers will receive a variety of free sticks per month, as well as invitations to a dedicated smoke night which will be hosted regularly.

Also on offer, a cigar catering services, where members of the staff will bring an assortment of sticks or specially selected sticks to an event which has requested this service, be it a wedding, a gala, sporting event or party.

When asked to summarize the spirit of Smoke and Ash, the proprietor paraphrased President Abraham Lincoln in a quote, "It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues."

And then he added, "And to those of us at Smoke & Ash, there is no vice more worthy of indulgence than a quality cigar."


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