Local cigar shop offers sense of community


From the outside, Exhale Cigars looks like a typical smoke shop resting on Carman Avenue by the border of East Meadow and Westbury.

Inside, however, retired cops, business professionals and local storeowners watch television in the shop’s luxury lounge, hold meetings in its conference room and look through a selection of hand-rolled cigars.

“This place is gonna be packed this weekend,” said co-owner Carmine Crispino, 54, of Merrick, as he gave the Herald a tour of his business the week before the Super Bowl.

Crispino is known locally for his 16-year involvement at Kev’s Landscaping and Tress Business in Westbury. “I used to always come here and smoke,” he said, adding that he grew familiar with the business that he decided to follow his passion and join it.

Quality cigars, Crispino explained, use aged tobacco leaves that allow for a smooth and rich taste. The best leaves, he added, are Nicaraguan. Exhale Cigars sells a variety of top shelf brands such as Avos, Liga Privada and Java by Drew Estate. They also sell a selection of hand-rolled cigars.

Its luxury cigar lounge has ten leather couches, three televisions and an electronic fireplace. When the weather permits, customers could also smoke on the outdoor patio, which Crispino said he is in the process of revamping. Exhale Cigars also holds events such as its recent Super Bowl party.

What makes Exhale Cigars different from other smoke shops, Crispino said, are the people in it. A customer agreed and said, “These guys are my therapy,” adding that he often visits the cigar shop to mingle with old friends and neighbors.