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Shop Buildout, Part VIII

Industrial Signs puts the finishing touches to our outdoor sign.
Greetings, friends of Habana Port. Last week was a very productive one. We are rushing but diligently setting up the shop with its fixtures and furniture before we can go on to receiving tobacco and other tobacconist-related inventory. We are currently awaiting our proper permits for conducting tobacco-related business in the great State of Louisiana but in the meantime we are keeping busy hammering out the non-tobacco related building needs.
In this segment of our “Buildout” series, we see that the shop and its Construction Needs are totally finished; Industrial Signs comes in to affix our facade signage; our satellite TV is installed; our furniture comes in; and we bring in some electronics (for the TV and speakers) and other hardware. The Layout Phase has taken some planning and now we are executing before we begin the Merchandising of the Cigar Shop step.
Enjoy the pictures and stay tuned for the final chapters on “How to Build Out a Cigar Shop.”
August 3, 2010

The shop is clean. The Lounge and Checkout area.

The Front part of the Lounge.

The Sign Company is here!

These guys bring heavy equipment.

The portion of the sign that will illuminate come night time.

Call in the cavalry.

The technicians install the box that will house the LED lights that will illuminate Habana Port.

I’m ready for my face lift.

Look up in the sky…

The tech is ready to attach the face to the box.

Aligning it right is difficult in this +100o weather.


The Front Facade.

The Sign heralds our presence.
August 4, 2010

The Installer for Direct TV is setting up the lounge.

August 5, 2010

The Furniture comes in today.

The pub table and chairs will be perfect for those wishing to play poker, chess or to throw down some bones.

Our routed logo above the entrance to the Humidor adds a nice touch.

Our logo.

We bring in some of the store equipment and electronics.

The Checkout Station.

The lounge is starting to fill in.

The Humidor Entrance.
Habana Port would like to take this time to thank the wonderful people at Industrial Signs for doing such a great job for us. These guys have been illuminating New Orleans since 1929. Check them out for your signage needs.
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Shop Buildout, Part VII

The Final Building Inspections have been approved.
Greetings, friends of Habana Port! We come back today to our recurring series on how to construct a cigar shop as we invite you behind the scenes of the buildout of Habana Port’s Covington, LA location. In today’s post, we see the flooring is finished, our fixtures begin to come in and our inspections are finalized. We are close to finishing the construction and can then begin setting up the fixtures for the merchandising that has yet to have occurred. Enjoy the pictures and witness the creation of a cigar shop.

July 22, 2010

Our contractor installs the insulation above the ceiling tiles.

Another view. Notice this room has yet to have carpet.

Our pipe cabinet is waiting patiently in the smoking lounge.

The cigarette/small item cabinet is also waiting patiently in the lounge.

The humidor is getting its ceiling insulation. Still no electricity.

Tomorrow this room will receive its commercial-grade carpet.
July 23, 2010

Another day, another dollar.

The Humidor’s Entrance.

The Humidor is well-lit now.

The lounge is a mess now but it will clear away soon.

The carpet is installed as well as the vinyl baseboard. Much cleaner.

The Retail Area.
July 24, 2010

More fixtures and the Checkout Station have arrived.

It is important that a humidor never employs florescent lighting as it is harmful to and bleaches the cigars.

Now that the billboard is up, we want the public to know that we will be opening soon.
July 27, 2010

The Retail section with another cabinet that we had constructed with the remnant Spanish cedar. Notice the cabinets we had made have been stained to a darker color to match the wainscot.

Looking good.

Another view of the Humidor.

Our talented carpenter constructs our Pipe Tobacco cabinet and display fixture.
July 28, 2010

The Pipe Tobacco cabinet begins receiving its stain treatment.

The Checkout Station.

The Retail Section.

Looking towards the front of the Unit.

Another view of the Pipe Tobacco Cabinet.

Our Final Building Inspection Placard announces the Parish’s approval. Whew.
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Shop Buildout, Part VI

The walk-in humidor with humidifier and surveillance cameras installed.
Greetings friends of Habana Port. Today’s installment of our Shop Buildout series takes us into the details of laying out a cigar shop and full-service tobacconist. In these sets of photos, we showcase the surveillance cameras, the plate glass windows for the humidor door and viewing windows, the humidifier and filtration system and a few more items that have contributed to the progress. We hope that the next post on this subject will reveal the final steps that will ultimately lead to the completion of Habana Port’s first cigar shop. Until then, take a look and enjoy!
July 16, 2010

The door and side window have their glass plates installed.

The humidor is secured with cameras in the corners.

A few of the ceiling tile panels have gone up.

The television viewing area of the smoking lounge.

The back area of the shop has the flooring down.

The filtration system which will produce distilled water for the humidifier is necessary to prevent hard water from ruining the cigars.
The accessories area.

The humidor door.

The humidifier is in the corner. The high placement will ensure a more even dispersion of humidity.

Our carpenter installing the final cedar panel in the humidor.
July 19, 2010

The ceiling is almost complete.

The television viewing area with ceiling tiles in place.

The humidor is almost sealed.

Don’t worry. That fluorescent light is there temporarily.

The lounge again.
July 20, 2010

Our carpenter displays our cabinet that will go behind the sales counter. This will house cigarettes and other small items. This is made of Spanish cedar remnants and will be stained to match the wainscot.

The lounge. That case will house our pipe selection.

Another view of the humidor. I can see the amount of cigars that will soon fill this room…


The lounge is getting there and will be home to some good times soon.
Until the next post, siempre fumando,

Habana Port
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Shop Buildout, Part V

The walk-in humidor with the new island shelving.
Greetings friends of Habana Port. This is the next installment of our Shop Buildout series. We will show you the construction progress from July 9 to July 14 and what progress has been made! We were not expecting to install our humidor island but with the extra cedar we had at the moment, our carpenter made good use of the material. The island will allow Habana Port to showcase a larger cigar selection so we all benefit. The island also fills in the empty space in the humidor so there are both functional and aesthetic uses for our additional merchandising display. We also receive a new shop resident and the humidor ceiling begins its treatment. View on and enjoy!
July 9, 2010

Another view of the walk-in humidor.

Looking towards the humidor entrance.

Prepping some humidor ceiling work. Notice the track lights and ceiling fans on the left ready for installation.

The smoking lounge.

The humidor window frame. Ready for plate glass installation.

The storage room is waiting for its flooring.

Looking towards the front of the shop from the accessories merchandising area.

July 12, 2010

Our shopping center looks grand even in this heat.

Our cigar store Indian has landed and is ready to herald to the world of Habana Port’s existence.

Our owner is posing with our new friend.

July 14, 2010

Soon enough, merchandise and display cases will replace the construction equipment.

The track lighting and ceiling fans are installed in the humidor.

It is important that a humidor not use fluorescent lighting as that light bleaches cigar wrappers. Not a healthy light anyway!

Our flooring installer works in the back of the shop.
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Indoor Signage and Decals

The decal sticker that will adorn the glass of the Humidor Entrance Door

Good evening, devotees of tabaco. As we wind the day, we wanted to show you some of the signage we created that will adorn the layout of the cigar shop. As an example, above you can see the decal sticker that will be placed on the door that will lead you into our 300 square-foot walk-in humidor.
This is Marketing 101, people. In order to strengthen a brand/image, one must vigorously implement heavy repetition of the logo; in this case we want the cigar shop’s logo plastered throughout the store, so that once you leave our premises, our image is burned into your subconscious. Well nevermind the corporate mind-subjugation and marketing psychobabble talk, and take a look at Habana Port’s latest signage!

The magnetic car decal that will display our shop’s information while our vehicles traverse the Greater New Orleans area and Northshore.

The full-color logo will appear on the glass door of the shop’s entrance AND on the large plate-glass window of our humidor.
We hope you enjoy the subtle variations of Habana Port’s logo that will be heavily seen in this part of southeastern Louisiana soon enough. For now, follow this blog so that you may continue to receive an insider’s look at the buildout of this next local brick-and-mortar cigar shop.
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Shop Buildout, Part IV

fellow followers of Habana Port! Wow, we are on fire! The buildout is nearing completion (perhaps within a week now) and we are excited to get the doors open. However there is still plenty of groundwork that has to be laid and we are working around the clock to establish a top retailing cigar concern.
In the meanwhile (and in between World Cup play, of course), you can read up on our progress from June 30 to July 7. The humidor has been receiving the most attention with the shelving starting to go up. This took some planning as we want to maximize shelf space so that we may offer the largest and most diverse selection this side of Lake Ponchartrain and at the same time provide a comfortable feel when the customer browses inside. It is a delicate balance but we are confident the layout is supreme. Enjoy the pictures and we should resume the updates by the end of next week.
June 30, 2010

The Smoking Lounge.

The Television area of the Lounge.

The Entrance to the Humidor. Notice the Spanish cedar to the right ready for cutting.

The Checkout Station is a storage area right now.

Another day of Spanish cedar immersion.

That’s quite a bit of Spanish cedar. You don’t want to see the price-tag.

Before the shelving goes up the walls have to be lined with cedar.

Another view.

July 6, 2010

Measuring and cutting the shelving. The contractors must focus and maintain concentration.

The Lounge and Humidor.

The Entrance with a view of the first set of shelves within.

Looking through the Humidor’s Glass Window, the shelving from here looks fantastic!

For right now, the Lounge is the staging area for the cut shelving that will be affixed within the humidor.

A bit more cutting. Mind the cedar dust, okay?

Another set of shelves on the right.

Those aren’t reflective globular UFOs in the foreground. That’s Spanish cedar dust.

Looking from within the Humidor through the Glass Window area (sans glass).

The shelves are well cut and affixed. We managed to construct 7 levels of shelving with the top flat shelf storing our back-up cigar boxes.

From the back of the Humidor looking towards the Entrance.

Notice the Contractor builds the frame of the shelving and then installs each individual shelf. Very efficient and ensures a correct job.

A little help goes a long way.

Another fine day’s work.
July 7, 2010

Good morning, Humidor.

The shelves are multiplying.

Notice the detail of leaving a gap on the base of the shelves. This allows customers to get closer to the cigars without any obstruction.

Almost there.

A smaller partitioning of the shelves when we reach a corner of the humidor.

Imagine when we have to fill this room up with cigars…

Just completed, this section of shelving is going to be picked up and affixed to the wall.


Closing up this side of the Humidor and working through that corner.

Plenty of shelf space now.

Using the staple gun, our contractor has also built out bars. He is a true builder of dreams.

There is no wasted space in this Walk-in Humi.

Another fruitful day comes to a close but the work remains to be done.
Until the next post, siempre fumando
Habana Port
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Shop Buildout, Part III

Greetings, fans of Habana Port. Are you all ready for the weekend? I don’t even have to ask as I know the answer to that question. Well, before you light your evening cigars with your complementary beverages, peruse this latest blog post. In this latest installment of our series on how to construct a retail cigar shop, we begin to see the details added. Trim, tile flooring and tasteful cedar walls have been chronicled during these dates. Now that I have that bout of alliteration out of my system, feast your eyes on the spectacle of our cigar shop’s birth. Enjoy the pictures and be on the lookout for another update soon!
June 22, 2010

The television area.

The Humidor Entrance.

The Checkout Station.

The wooden frame of the Humidor Glass Mirror along with door frames and door.

A different profile.

The Humidor is prepped for its flooring.

Another view of the Television area of the Smoking Lounge.

Looking towards the Front of the Shop, the opposite side of the Smoking Lounge.

Looking from within the Humidor, the wooden frame of the Humidor’s Glass Window.

June 24, 2010

Leading up to the door of the Humidor, the elegant tile flooring has been aligned.

The South half of the Smoking Lounge.

The Walk-in Humidor with tile flooring laid out.

Notice the addition of the ceiling trim and the Humidor door trim.

Our flooring specialist, Steve, is a true professional and delivers only superior results. Excellent man and future Habana Port customer and friend.

The first section of Spanish cedar that will line the walls of the Humidor for proper cigar storage and protection.
June 28, 2010

Close-up of the tile flooring (sans grout).

Additional tiles have been placed.

Our Checkout station, display cases and cabinet for our pipe selection and merchandising came in today. The cherry wood will complement the decor of the cigar shop.

View of the North half of the Cigar Lounge.

Our contractor is personally installing the Spanish cedar walls as the material is very costly and accounts for a large percentage of the construction costs.

Inside the Walk-in Humidor, the smell of freshly cut Spanish cedar saturates the air and heralds the coming of a holy temple that will showcase a great cigar selection.

Looking down the cigar accessories section of the store.

Close-up of the trim that accents the cigar lounge.

Working diligently inside the Humidor. Notice the installed door.

Ready for window installation.

Close-up of the Humidor Door Trim. Beautiful workmanship.

The Humidor door, stained and installed.

I think the Humidor is ready for some lighting.
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Shop Buildout, Part II

Greetings, fans of Habana Port. Today we post another segment on the buildout of our first cigar shop. The contractors appointed to this task bring several generations of experienced work and have done a tremendous job in constructing what will be the Northshore’s most magnificent humidor, lounge and cigar merchant. Below you will see pictures of the progress and categorized by the date we photographed the construction. Enjoy the pictures and descriptions!
June 15, 2010

A fine view of 330 Falconer Drive, Suite K.

The sheetrock has been done and this is the Storage Room.

The outer walls of the Humidor have been sheetrocked.

Another view of the Humidor looking towards the back of the unit.

A look from the inside of the Humidor.

Another view from within the Humidor looking towards the front of the Shop.

Looking towards the front of the Shop from outside the Humidor.

The Shop is moving along now.

The wall near the front of the Shop has wainscot siding to add an element of class.

Pre-stained wainscot siding. The aroma of the wood is intoxicating for sure.

Inspecting the day’s work.
June 16, 2010

Tools and equipment ready for the day’s use.

A view of the front of the Shop.

The Humidor’s front walls have been “wainscotted”.

Another front wall view. The air purifiers are being put in place now. You can smoke in peace and not worry about excess smoke.
June 21, 2010

Painting has begun. We chose a bright yellow reminiscent of a Cuban atmosphere. This color works well for cigar shops and will immerse the lounger in a pleasant environment.

Our painter meticulously applies the paint. He puts on 3 coats to really enhance the look. Notice the stained wainscot now.

A view of the shop from the back.

This is looking at the North wall where our high-def wide flatscreen television will entertain our smoking guests.

Now the wall is done.

Our owner is looking very pleased with the work that has been done so far.

A view of the front corner of the Shop.

The front entrance of the Humidor is looking photogenic now.

The wainscot ends where we shall put the checkout counter.

A view of the Humidor Entrance.

Well fellow tabaco enthusiasts, that is all for now but be sure to check in soon as we have many more pictures and a status update of the shop buildout. At this point we are a few weeks away from our soft opening and we hope to meet many of you soon!
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port
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Shop Buildout, Part I


Good afternoon, Habana Port fans. Today we will begin posting pictures of the steps that have been undertaken to build out our first cigar shop. Consider this an educational primer in the retailing tobacconist side of the cigar industry. These were taken June 8, 2010 and show the unit having just been framed. Enjoy!
June 8, 2010

The Storefront from a distance

330 Falconer Drive, Suite K

The Humidor Entrance

The side of the Humidor looking towards the Storage Room

Looking towards the Front of the Shop with the Humidor on the right

Looking towards the Front of the Shop from within the Humidor

Another angle from within the Humidor
We hope you enjoy these pictures and understand the work that goes behind the scenes before opening our doors to you. Let us know what you think!
Until the next post, siempre fumando,
Habana Port