"I'm very excited to be back in the cigar business," beamed Bill Niederer, the owner of Mojito Cigar Lounge. The deal between him and Bart Gerber, owner of Churchill's Fine Cigars was completed on Friday, February 1st and the store has returned to operating under the Mojito Cigar Lounge name. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Mojito Cigar Lounge opened in October 2008 and became the first store in the country to have a My Father Cigars lounge in October 2010.
Early in 2012, rumors began circulating that the store may be for sale, and in spring 2012 it was confirmed that the store would be sold to Gerber and become the seventh location of his Churchill's Fine Cigars stores in the Phoenix area. The store officially rebranded itself on May 14, 2012.
As part of the new ownership, the store underwent several changes, including a drastic reduction in size as the original Mojito Cigar Lounge occupied two suites in The Shops at Dove Valley complex. A wall went up dividing the two spaces and shrunk the front seating area considerably, along with separating the store from the outdoor patio area that was frequently used during cooler weather and for events. The new layout will remain in place as Niederer doesn't have immediate plans to tear down the wall that went up dividing the two spaces.
Also uncertain is the return of the My Father Cigars lounge - at least in name - as well as the membership component of the store. Those and other things will be under consideration in the coming weeks, Niederer said. The store will be maintaining its current operating hours.
Niederer's first event is a viewing party for the big game on Sunday, February 3 starting at 3 pm. An official grand reopening is in the works but no date has been set as of yet.