By ROGER SCHNEIDER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
GOSHEN — Johnny Migedt enjoys a good cigar. He hopes others do to.
Migedt is opening Johnny’s Cigar Lounge at 109 W. Washington St. tonight during First Fridays.
He has been in the store nightly getting it ready as well as spending a lot of time ordering products and chasing down fixtures and furniture. But there’s still a lot to do. Orders are still coming in so there will be about 15 brands of cigars for sale tonight. More brands will be added later. Cigars can be purchased singly or by the box.
“Ever since I was a little kid, cigars have always intrigued me,” Migedt said. “I don’t know why.”
He speculated that his interest in cigars came from tagging along with his grandfather and an uncle while they visited cigar shops in Elkhart. There he would see the men fuss over their cigars and take time to relax on a store sofa and puff away in comfort.
What struck him as interesting was the many different shapes and sizes of the cigars in the shop. He still goes into cigar shops as he travels.
“I like the one I go into and I thought, hey, it would be cool to have one, more for a hobby than something to rely on,” he said. “I have no idea how it will work. I thought I would give it a shot — nothing ventured nothing gained.”
His full-time job is as a salesman for Riverside Tool in Elkhart, which his father owns. The store will not be a full-time operation. He will have it open from 5 to 10 tonight. Normal hours will be 5 to 9 on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights and 2 to 9 p.m. Saturdays. To enter the store, customers will have to be 18 or older. To rent a cigar locker, customers will have to be at least 21.
One of Migedt’s favorite cigars is made by craftsmen at the Graycliff Hotel and Cigar Co. in Nassau, Bahamas. Such cigars are considered products for special markets and the makers only sell those to country clubs and cigar lounges, so Migedt has to have his store certified to offer the highest-end products. The very high-end cigars can sell for up to $30 apiece.
When completed, the store will have humidity-controlled cigar lockers that customers can rent to store their favorite stogies. Customers will also be able to stop in and light those cigars and then relax on the store’s leather couches, just as his grandfather and uncle used to do.
And Johnny’s will have smoke-eliminating ventilators to keep the air clear.
No cigarettes will be sold but Migedt plans on adding pipes and pipe tobaccos in the future.
So far public interest in the store has been strong, according to Migedt. So many people have been stopping by to give him positive comments while he renovates the building that his work has been slowed.
“A lot of people of all ages and interest stop by,” he said.
The store’s phone number is 574-361-7852. There is also a Facebook page, Johnnys-Cigar-Lounge.