Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saturday at the Hut - 2/23/13

This blog post will actually cover both Friday and Saturday at The Tobacco Hut, since the shop re-opened on Friday and I was there as well. I knew that Pete was planning a little remodeling and sprucing up before he opened the shop, and when I walked in on Friday it looked like he and Laurie had been hard at work.

The front half of the store had been painted and new flooring had been at least partially installed. Things were in a bit of disarray with tools scattered about, the TV on the floor, racks and furniture out of place, etc. But, and this is important...the store was open for business!

Tom L had come in earlier but by the time I got there he had already left. Joe was there when I arrived and Peter came in later. Don also came in but I had already left, and I guess Aaron was there as well.

The infamous clock, now on my office
wall, along with a couple other
artifacts from the Hut.
(Click to enlarge)
I had informed Joe in an email that I would be there between 12-1:00 that day as I was taking the afternoon off from work. When I walked in around 12:30, Joe demanded to know where I'd been, implying that I was late. I protested, saying that I was on time. I whirled around to point at the clock above where the TV normally sits and, of course, no clock. Ah, damn, I shouldn't have bought that clock from Lou which now sits on the wall in my office. Okay, Joe, you got me!

I delivered Pete & Laurie's new business cards, as well as Joe's. I felt I needed to get Joe back, so I told him that the printer printed his business cards upside down. I did get him for a second, as a momentary flash of confusion crossed his face.

Sorry, Joe, your business cards
got printed upside down.
With mutual "gotchas" out of the way, Joe was kind enough to buy me a cigar. I had brought my pipe with me, but with Joe's kind offer, I decided to delay the pipe until Saturday. I headed off to the humidor and grabbed a Fuente 8-5-8. By the way, the humidor is getting back to its normal inventory levels. Pete is actively ordering new supplies and it will take a few weeks to be bursting at the seams, but its well on its way now.

Joe left and Pete, Laurie, and I talked about some marketing and advertising plans for the store. Pete and Laurie both see enormous potential for the Hut and I think we'll all be pleased with what's to come.  They're looking at holding an official grand re-opening in a few weeks and we might even have Don prepare some of his world-famous barbeque for it. If you were fortunate to be here several months ago and sampled some, you know how good it is. You won't want to miss it. More to come when the dates get firmed up.

New hardwood floors really spruce
up the place. (Click to enlarge)
When I walked in Saturday morning, it was like night and day. Everything was put back in place, no tools scattered about, and the place actually looked bigger. The new wood floors really make a difference. The chairs were where they should be, and guess who was in his old chair? That's right, Lou was sitting in the "king's chair", like nothing had changed!

Well, a couple things had changed. He was speaking a little more deferentially to us and didn't kick anybody out of "his" store! Joe was there as well and, before long, Vic arrived, then Rob, and Don showed up too. I gotta tell you, now that Lou's no longer the owner, we can bust his chops a lot more! But he took it in stride, and dished it out just as much as he ever did. Lou said he's going to try and stop in on Saturdays, but of course taking care of Dotty is his first priority.

Just like old times!
(Click to enlarge)
Laurie provided some tasty baked goods, including some wonderful chocolate chip cookies. I lit up a Crown Viking freehand with some equally tasty Baker Street tobacco, and we all concluded that it is a very good thing that the Hut continues.

See you next Saturday!

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