cigar box

Brian Stockard (left) and his sister, Alexis Stockard, have combined and moved their dual locations of The Cigar Box store and lounge from Columbia to West Columbia. Jessica Holdman/Staff

Both locations of The Cigar Box shop and smoking lounge, one in Rosewood and the other on the 1600 block of Main Street, have relocated into one consolidated location at 134 1/2 State Street, an upstairs where the Red Door Tavern comedy club, which closed in 2014, was the most recent tenant. 

The move from Main Street was instigated when the The Cigar Box’s building was purchased by a developer. Closing the Rosewood location at the same time made sense, explains Eric Stockard, the business’ chief operating officer. 

“The State Street area is super hot right how, and blowing up as we speak,” he explains. “When we found the old Red Door location, and saw that we just had to put our touch on the building, it was a no brainer.”  

The cigar shop and lounge features a place to purchase and enjoy cigars, and has a well-curated craft beer selection of up to 30 beers at a time, plus a small wine selection that Stockard says is all meant to pair with cigars they sell. Other than a complete renovation of the interior of the space, The Cigar Box has also added another great place to relax outside above street level on its second-story back deck.

Ally & Eloise on the Move

The outpost of the Ally & Eloise Bakeshop on Main Street is on the move again, this time into the Arcade Building at 1332 Main St. This is the third move for the location, which resides inside The Venue on Main at 1626 Main St.  

The Arcade Building has seen a renaissance in its tenants during the past few years, with the addition of Pita Pit, Stoner’s Pizza Joint, and Indah Coffee. The new location of Ally & Eloise is anticipated to open in mid-September. The flagship store at 5209 Forest Dr. remains open, serving signature fluffy macarons, cakes, cupcakes and other sweet treats. 

The Whig’s Phill Blair Looks West

The recently vacant space at 626 Meeting St. in West Columbia was most recently home to K9 Coature, a dog groomer, and before that, Conundrum Music Hall. The lot will soon be buzzing once again when Phill Blair, co-owner of The Whig, the dive bar that’s become a Main Street and beer scene staple, opens a beer garden and craft beer retail store in the space. The operation will fill a much-needed gap in the craft beer retail scene west of the river. 

Blair — who helps plan a lot of community and arts events, the Jam Room Music Festival and the Columbia Museum of Art’s regular Arts & Draughts parties among them — says he will have many more details on the endeavor in the coming weeks.


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