Salisbury cigar shop can sell alcohol, council says
By Mark Wineka
A boutique cigar shop called Havana Nights gained city permission Tuesday to sell alcohol on its premises.
Dunkan Echevarria, the owner of the business at 117 S. Lee St., said he plans to sell hand-rolled cigars from Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
He also wanted to add some wine and a few mixed drinks but needed a special-use permit from the city to do so.
Businesses where on-site alcoholic beverages are sold which are not part of a larger restaurant are classified as a bar, tavern or nightclub, according to the Land Development Ordinance.
The bar, tavern or nightclub use is permitted in the Downtown Mixed-Use zoning district, where the cigar shop is located, if a special-use permit is approved by Salisbury City Council.
Council voted 5-0 Tuesday for granting the permit.
“I think this will help our downtown and give it a twist it doesn’t currently have,” Mayor Pro Tem Paul Woodson said.
Echevarria, who moved to Rowan County from Miami about three months ago, has a background in interior design and real estate.
“You have a fantastically beautiful town,” Echevarria told the council members.
He said his cigar shop would offer a relaxed, lounging atmosphere with about 1,000 square feet. To address smoke concerns, he will install smoke-eating equipment good for 4,000 square feet, Echevarria said.
The cigar shop will be located in the center ground-floor unit of the Firehouse Urban Lofts development. It used to house the Wicked Sister sandwich shop and, more recently, O’Malley’s.
Mayor Susan Kluttz said the cigar shop will add to the diversity of the still developing Fisher Street entertainment district.
Councilman Mark Lewis is a cigar aficionado who founded a cigar club about 10 years ago.
“This is a particular love of mine, no doubt about it,” Lewis said.
He added it was always good to welcome a new downtown business.