- Circa Tabac
32 Watts Street, 212-941-1781
Smokers can breathe a raspy sigh of relief upon entering Circa Tabac. This self-styled “cigarette bar” is exempt from the smoking ban thanks to a loophole that that gives grandfather status to establishments that can show that ten percent of their business comes from the sale of tobacco products. A clubby, candlelit shrine to nicotine, Tabac offers more than 200 brands of cigarettes (from Gauloises to Indian bidis) as well as cigars. The décor is sort of Art Deco by way of Havana, with vintage ad posters for rolling papers and glass cases displaying antique lighters and humidors. It probably wouldn’t satisfy Bloomberg, but there’s a very efficient ventilation system in place to keep the fumes to a minimum.
Best Smokers' Refuge
From the 2003 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).