New Smokeshop Specializes in Cigars


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Cigars are one of those things that people either love or hate, like cilantro or the New York Yankees. For the lovers of cigars, there’s a new shop in Kodiak that just had its grand opening during Crab Fest: Carver’s House of Cigars.

Located on Shelikof Street in the same building as The Kodiak Company, Carver’s is the dream of George Halloway, an active-duty Coast Guardsman.

(Cigars 1 17 sec "Well, I had a passion … that they’re manufactured in.")

He says his store is named after his father, Carver.

The store’s two large humidors have been filling up in recent weeks with scores of different brands, styles and sizes:

(Cigars 2 17 sec "Right now I have about … and the Sancho Panza.")

He says because of lower taxes, his cigars are less expensive than in Anchorage, and he flies them in second-day air so they arrive fresh. The Cohiba (co-hee-ba) cigar he mentions is not to be confused with the storied Cuban brand, which cannot be legally imported into the U.S. These Cohibas are made in Central America, from stock spirited out of Cuba during the revolution 50 years ago:

(Cigars 3 15 sec "Cuban seed, grown in … cigars as well as Cuba.")

For the first-time cigar smoker, Halloway has some advice to make it a pleasant experience:

(Cigars 4 21 sec "Well, I would start them off … and reasonably priced.")

Halloway says the clientele his store has attracted include other Coast Guardsmen, and given its location across from Saint Paul Harbor, plenty of fishermen. He says that quite often a cross-section of the city’s diverse population can be found in his smoking room, playing chess or watching one of the two flat-screen televisions from the comfort of the leather-bound chairs. Bringing people from different walks of life together over a good cigar is his goal.

Though not the store’s main focus, Carver’s also stocks several different blends of pipe tobacco, small- and medium-sized home humidors and other smoking accessories. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. ###

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