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82nd Ave. Tobacco and Pipe: More than meets the eye

Lounge portion of the 82nd shop
Lounge portion of the 82nd shopBrenton Agena

It is with the slightest tinge of embarrassment that I write this. No, not because of anything the establishment this article is regarding did or anything that happened during my visit, rather embarrassment that it has taken me this long to write about such a stellar shop. The truth is, I simply dropped the ball, and to the fine men and women at 82nd Ave. Tobacco & Pipe, I apologize profusely. Bottom line, this shop - located on NE 82nd - is one of the top cigar shops in the entirety of the Greater-Portland Metro area.

One does not assume from the understated (read. boring) exterior of 82nd Pipe & Tobacco, that the offerings inside those walls would be as lavish as they truly are. The store is a full feature smoke shop working as a gradient from glassware, through cigarettes, shisha, pipes & pipe tobacco, and finally ending in a glorious 3rd of the store relegated to the fine pastime of premium cigar smoking. Upon entering you are greeted warmly by one of the many impressively knowledgeable staff members. Additionally, it's wonderful that you are just as likely to be greeted by Greg, the owner of 82nd Ave. Tobacco & Pipe as you are one of his faithful team members.

Again, I will admit that I judged a book by its cover and didn't have high hopes as I walked through the door. As I pushed my way in and turned right, I was poetically slapped in the face with a gorgeous selection of premium smokes. It is an inventory rivaling that of any prized humidor in Portland. Mouth slightly agape, I made my way towards the first walk in humidor to simply get a feel for what brands and what prices 82nd was dealing with. I was pleasantly surprised on both accounts. Shaun Fogarty - an exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable staff member - was more than happy to discuss everything about the topic and was even successful in selling me on brands I had never heard before. Needless to say, that is no easy task.

Upon further exploration of this facility, one comes to realize the true depth this store offers the cigar enthusiast. There are three - that's right three - different areas in which to enjoy a stick of your choosing, all of which are unique to themselves. The obligatory warm wood and plush leather lounge is modest yet adequately equipped to hold 6-10 men no problem. The beautiful patio is open air yet sheltered, a small haven even Jimmy Buffet would respect. This small patio also bares the autographs of some of the biggest names in cigars as they have made their way to this small understated mecca of smoke. The last of the 3 is their beautifully landscaped garden that features both covered and uncovered seating. This is all available to anyone who requires a relaxing and non-pretentious sanctuary in which you can enjoy your cigar.

Should you find yourself inside this fine establishment, make sure to ask the staff about joining their loyalty club. This extremely affordable “rewards club” entitles members to discounts on sticks as well as VIP options for upcoming events. Definitely a worth while investigation.

I'll re-state my personal shame in not having seen this shop years ago. That being said, my only true justification for the delay in my visit is the geographical location. Simply put I live no where near this oasis. I will however be looking for reasons to hover in that part of town when I am able. The combination of service, selection and value on top of accommodations lands this shop among the most elite shops in Portland. If this shop isn't on your list of "must see's" in Portland, it's time you get that pen out and revise the list.