This past Saturday you saw I trekked over to the Drew Estate Florida Barn Smoker in Clermont, FL. What I did not mention in that article was I decided to keep a long-awaited promise to visit one of Florida’s outstanding cigar shops – the “World Famous” Cigar Hustler in Deltona, FL. In case you were not familiar with this cigar lounge, let me start by saying it is owned by two brothers Mike and Gregg Szczepankiewicz. If you are still not familiar with them, they are the owners of the Powstanie cigar brand. OK if you still are clueless about what I am talking about, just keep reading and by the end of this Cigar Lounge review you should be well-informed.
A long long time ago, 8 years to be exact, two polish brothers got the brilliant idea of opening a Tattoo Parlor and Head Shop in a small town in east central Florida known as Deltona. No, not Daytona; DELTONA. Although it is not too far from Daytona, about 30 miles along the I4. Deltona does not have a racetrack – but they do have a RaceTrac gas station so they are not completely in the woods. Back in 2010, when the brothers decided to open their shop, the population of the city was 85,182. This is decent size community for Florida.
So the story continues, they opened their head shop and they quickly learned that the building was once a cigar shop. So once the doors were opened again, patrons would come in looking for cigars. Being the entrepreneurs they were, Mike and Gregg added a small counter top humidor to service this new-found clientele. It did not take long before the two realized the cigar industry chose them. They were about to shift on a dime and build out a cigar shop, especially since they had all walks of life coming to the shop in the first place.
Business has been booming ever since and, about a year ago, they renovated the cigar lounge side of the shop to make it more comfortable. In fact, Mike told me that one of the reasons for the renovation was he and his brother wanted a place to walk into and relax after being on the road representing their brand Powstanie cigars, along with the other brands that they distribute. The result was what Mike would consider a place he and his patrons can call home.
The vision was excellent. As you walk into the shop, there is a large boardroom table to the right with an extra large flat screen hanging on the wall and 8 ultra comfortable boardroom leather chairs around the table. I can say sitting at this table made even me feel important. Since i was there early on a Saturday afternoon, there was only a couple of regulars sitting at the table m but we quickly engaged in friendly conversation as I have always come to expect from a cigar lounge. On the wall behind the table are some metal signs with soft glowing purple logos on them.
I asked Mike about the signs and he explained those represent the people who have helped them during their growth. They include:
- FQ Cigars
- Chogui Cigars
- Guaimaro Cigars
- Florida Cigar Club (FCC4L)
The last panel represents Comleco, a commercial electric company owned by his friend Jessie Gonzales who was instrumental in the revamp of the store. Of course the middle sign is the Powstanie logo and i also a nod to RoMa Craft.
Off the left of the table, is a decent size bar with comfortable seating. The Cigar Hustler lounge feature a wide selection of craft beers and has 6 taps that feature some local Florida brews like Cigar City and a stout known as Dziadek (Polish for Grandfather) that was specially brewed to pair with the Powstanie Habano Toro. The Dziadek stout is a nod to their grandfather who fought in WWII.
On the other side of the bar, there is shelving that features the over 100 different bottles of beer they sell. You can even purchase it at retail price and take them home. The beer menu is presented on a flat screen in the bar area and also in the restroom so you can always check out what you may want to indulge in next.
Speaking of restrooms, they have just one, but it is immaculate, One of my pet peeves with cigar lounges is unkempt restrooms. Mike and Gregg must have the same concern as this was spotless and sparkling clean. Not only is the restroom clean but the shop uses a 2 phase 5 stage filtration system to keep the shop virtually smoke free and when there is a huge crowd like during an event, they also have 2 big exhaust fans that suck out the excess smoke.
Moving towards the front of the shop, you will come upon the large walk in humidor that has about 1,000 facings on the shelf. In fact, the humidor is the first thing you see as you walk through the front door. As I entered the humidor I quickly noticed there was a large selection of boutique and small brands and after talking to Mike he informed me they stock about 70% boutique. Of course you can’t miss the presentation of their own brand Powstanie as soon as you walk in and they carry a full line of RoMa Craft as Skip Martin makes the Powstanie for them.
A fun story about the RoMa Craft Tobac relation as explained by Mike;
When we first opened a social media friend sent me an Aquitaine lanceo which I did not know much about, I put aside for a while, but when I did smoke it, the cigar was amazing. I reached out to Mike Rosales from RoMa Craft Tobac and he invited me to the factory. I went down to visit the factory in Nicaragua and met Skip Martin and he agreed to make the Powstanie.
More Than Cigars
Mike and Gregg are more than just shop owners. They visit Nicaragua at least twice a year to go to the factory and work on blends and increase their cigar and tobacco knowledge.
Besides cigars, they have dedicated the other half of the shop to a variety of products including loose pipe and cigarette tobacco, vape products (including a wide selection of vape juice), and one hell of an assortment of smoking paraphernalia which maintains the roots of the original shop.
The Cigar Hustler lounge is open 7 days a week with the following hours
- Sun (10AM–8PM)
- Mon (10AM–8PM)
- Tue (10AM–8PM)
- Wed (10AM–8PM)
- Thur (10AM–11PM)
- Fri (10AM–11PM)
- Sat (10AM–11PM)
They have daily 2 for 1, drink happy hours, Mon – Fri from 4PM to 7PM.
Cigar Hustler hosts monthly cigar events on the last Friday of the month and they try to tie the event into an online event. This is actually a cool concept, as the Cigar Hustler has a full online retail site where they sell most of what they have in the humidor. When they have an event at the shop, they promote it on their website and offer the same deals as they do for the shop event. It should be noted that the online site does not offer deep discounts but provides the inventory for those that can’t visit the shop and are looking for a unique or hard to find boutique.
You reach their website at www.cigarhustler.com
Cigar Hustler is located at 829 Deltona Blvd, Deltona, FL 32725
Their phone number is (386) 574-3556