This week’s #tenanttour took us to the The Cigar Den, where we talked to owner Sam Sing. For him, the Cigar Den is not just a place of business, but the culmination of his passions and professional dreams.
For years, Sam worked as a UPS driver in the Strip District, where his cigar fandom led him to become close friends with Jimmy from Leaf and Bean in the Strip. His relationship with Jimmy, and other cigar stores in the city, helped him learn more about cigars and become integrated into the cigar culture of Pittsburgh.
However, Sam’s life was turned outside six years ago when he suffered a mild, but life-changing, heart attack. “I started looking through life in a different lens,” said Sam. “I took everything that I liked – fish, hunt, cigars and tried to combine then. I prayed to God about what I should do, and this came to me.
Armed with his vision, he began searching around Lawrenceville for a place to set up his store. Never quite finding what he needed, he made a phone call to speak with his mother. “I’m frustrated, and she prays for me,” he vividly recalled. “I turned my head, saw the “Wylie Holdings” sign. I called and Joe [Edelstein] answered.”
Initially, he told me that he didn’t have anything in my price range. Just as I’m about to hang up, Joe said, “Wait a minute, I might have something.”
Sam and Joe have since built a strong relationship. “Joe’s the best guy in the world I have ever met. He gave me a chance. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
When you step into the Cigar Den, it feels infused with Sam’s welcoming personality. “What I started recently is that everyone who comes in shakes everyone else’s hand.” He wants this to be a place open to all types of people, where they can come and relax. “When there’s nowhere else to fit in, there’s Cigar Den.”
You can follow The Cigar Den on Facebook, but we recommend just showing up and having a cigar with Sam himself.