One Sunday afternoon my friend and I were dining at one of my favorite restaurants in Union, NJ called Rio 22. We had just eaten a great meal when my friend turned to me to find a nearby cigar store. So with the use of Google maps on my blackberry I discovered a place named Barrister Cigars was just down the road located at 2565 Route 22 West, Union, NJ.
Upon walking in the store the first thing you notice is a giant mural on the wall of what could of been an old time cigar box. The mural is of a Barrister which the owner David Mallow trained under in England as part of his becoming a lawyer. The store serves as his semi-retirement, and what better way to retire then by opening a smoke shop. As for the store itself it is done right. The walk in humidor which could stand to be a little bigger has a decent selection and finding something to smoke is not a problem although some of my favorites are missing.
The store has a good ventilation system but like most places when there are 20 people watching the NBA finals it can get a little smoky but the saving grace is the high ceilings. The clientele is mostly blue collar though you do get a mix of all types. An example of this was one Sunday afternoon you had situated in the store Newark police officers, correction officers, workers from Port Newark, caddies and golfers from one of the most elite golf courses in the nation. It was a bit of an eclectic mix, but it works very well.
From the first day I walked into the place I was pretty much made to feel like a regular. Aside from the owner Mr. Mallow has a great staff working for him. Both Dan and Steve (also know as Mr. Happy) are friendly and knowledgeable. In fact after my 4th or 5th time in the location I decided to rent one of the lockers they have available for a reasonable price.
This cigar store is the closest thing I have found to the location I used to work. They let you order food in, stay open late, and they even run many events. The last event was a Rocky Patel event for the summer blend launch where they sold 15 boxes. Of the 15 boxes sold 1 box owner won a trip to the Rocky Patel plantation.
So if your in the area, you should stop by and enjoy a smoke while watching the game on their big screen tv, or even try to get into a game of dominoes with some of the regulars.. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Pros: Comfort, People, Walk In Humidor, Parking, Ventilation.
Cons: Humidor while good, could be larger/more diversified.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Editor’s Note (Added 7.8.08): My cons doesn’t really play into the equation anymore. If there is a cigar your interested in, Barrister will do it’s best to carry it. Impressive.