Blog by Steve Laug
Two weeks ago Friday I flew in to Salt Lake City, Utah and met my brother Jeff to do a bit of pipe hunting and visiting a tobacco shop. We were on our way to my Dad’s 91st Birthday the next day, June 29 in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Jeff picked me up at the airport and the first stop we made was to Jeanie’s Smoke Shop. I had heard about the shop on various online forums but had never had the opportunity to visit. So I googled the location and found that it was not too far away from the airport. It was located at 156 State St, in downtown Salt Lake City. It said the shop was open from 7am until 10pm that night. We put the address into Google maps and let the voice direct us to the shop. When we had parked in a next door lot and walked to the front door this is what we saw.The shop itself was an older two story brick building with a false front on a busy Salt Lake street. It was a hot day and the shop door was open inviting folks to enter. It was a long shop with the walls lined on both sides and what looked like a smoking lounge in the back of the shop. Come on into the shop with me.When we walked in the shop I started taking photos to give an idea of the layout of the shop and the sheer volume of tobacco products they carried. The first photo shows the general look of the shop. On the right by the door was the cash register and flowing down the wall were display cases of packaged cigars and a various pipe and cigar accessories. On the wall behind them were cabinets with cigarettes, cigars and eventually about mid store tinned tobacco. On the end of the right side were the pipes that were for sale from a variety of sellers. On the opposite was a cooler with pop and water and assorted soft drinks for sale as well as a coffee pot. Next to that was a built in wall of bulk pipe tobaccos (their own blends and standard bulk blends from Stokkebye and Lane). Next to that was a case with RYO cigarette shag tobaccos. The rest of the left side wall was line with humidor cabinets with a wide variety of cigars sold either individually or by the box.I took some photos of the right side of the shop as I made way down the center aisle. The freist of these looks toward the back of the shop and the second looks back toward the front of the shop. Have a look at the case of tinned tobaccos, the wall of photos above the case and the on counter displays of pipe accessories such as Colibri Lighters. Just past the lighters there were display cases of pipes – Petersons, Chacom, Meerschaum, Dunhill as well as Stanwell and other brands too numerous to not. Looking up the left side of the shop the wall is lined with cigar humidors. The first photo shows the wall looking toward the back of the shop. The second one shows the wall looking back toward to front. I took some close up photos of the pipe area. The display cases housed both pipes and racks. The first photo shows a variety of boxed pipes of various brands. On the wall behind are humidors and hygrometers and chargers for the humidors. The second photo shows the pipes in a collection of older style pipe racks. All pipes were marked for sale. The third and fourth photo shows the final display at the back corner as well as the pipes on the wall behind the display. I took a photo of the GBD shape chart that was framed on the back wall. It was a unique piece that I had not seen before.From the corner I looked back up the pipe cases past the humidor on shelves on the wall to the cabinet on the wall where the tobacco tins were displayed. I walked up the aisle to that place in the store – really mid-way between the front and rear of the shop. It took a while to get the disinterested shopkeep to come over and open the cupboard so I could have a look and he more or less put the tins I was interested in on the counter and walked away. The selection was quite large for a shop this size. There were a lot of Cornell & Diehl blends, a few Royal Vintage and Nording Hunter Blends both made by Mclellands, some Hearth and Home blends, some Davidoff blends and few Dunhill tins. All were priced pretty high but for the ones that were no longer in production the price was still lower than can be found online. I picked up four tins of tobacco from the shop before leaving. I walked back to the front of the store with my choices of tobacco and set them on the counter by the cash register – once again no comment from the shopkeep – an older man who seemed thoroughly disinterested in engaging us as customers. I turned to the left side of the store where the bulk tobaccos and cigarette shag tobaccos were displayed. There was nothing special there – just the usual bulk blends with shop names. Most of them came from Peter Stokkebye. There were some Dunhill knock offs but nothing that called my name so I took the photos and walked away. After my ramble through the shop I took time to try and talk with the shop keeper. He was pretty disinterested in conversation. He did a bit of whining about taxes and the idiocy of the government trying to protect us but really had no interest in much. I told him about the blog and what I do here but even that he did not seem too keen about. I paid him for my tobacco purchases and headed out the door to begin the day’s pipe hunt.
I have to say to you that if you find yourself in Salt Lake City, Utah I would recommend that you stop by the shop and have a visit. It is one of the few remaining old time tobacco shops. Don’t expect a lot of enthusiasm from the gents that work there if they are the old timers because you will not get it. However if a young guy is managing the shop when you stop he is a great guy to talk with and I only wish that he had not had the day off when I stopped by. They have a good selection of new pipes but no really good deals, a few estate pipes that are overpriced in my opinion and some good tinned tobaccos that have some age on them but also have a high price. The bulk selection is pretty decent but also pretty common place. Their cigar stock is very good and seems to come from well managed stock. If nothing else give the shop a visit to see what probably an amazing old pipe shop in it’s heyday before all of the government regulations and taxes made it a bit of a museum instead of a shop. Thanks for giving the blog a read!