On the main street of Monaca there’s a storefront that’s active and alive with neon signs in the windows and an American flag flying proudly. This storefront isn’t a bar and it’s not a restaurant. The venue in question is King Beaver Cigars and when you go inside you’ll find a lot more than a shop that sells tobacco. Just like a cigar, it doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to make a cigar shop. Your basic cigar shop basically needs a humidor for storing the cigars, usually a display of cutters and lighters, and a staff that is at least somewhat knowledgeable about their product.
Also like a cigar though, it takes a lot more to go from “good” to “great,” and this is just what King Beaver Cigars on the main street of Monaca is: a great cigar shop hiding in a storefront on Pennsylvania Avenue. Opened in 2006 by owner Gerry Benyo, King Beaver Cigars offers Beaver County its only true cigar shop. When talking about a great cigar shop, there are 5 key criteria to keep in mind, which are:
- Staff Knowledge
If a shop can excel at half of these, it should be considered worth your time, but luckily for us, King Beaver Cigars hits all 5. If cigars are your thing, or if you’re looking at getting into cigars and have no clue where to start, or if you’re just looking for a place to hang out “with the guys,” this is definitely the place for you.
1 & 2: Selection and Price
When choosing a shop to buy anything from cameras to cigars from, the first two criteria that most people think about are selection and price. You want a large selection and a fair price on that selection. King Beaver Cigars hits it out of the park with both of these. First, they offer over 300 facings (a term that means types of cigars) inside of two walk-in humidors that are meticulously controlled for both temperature and humidity.
In regard to price, King Beaver Cigars offers more than fair pricing on every cigar they offer. One would expect the only true cigar shop around to have higher than average prices, but Gerry keeps his prices low and quality high to make a shop that’s focused around the buyer and the smoker first. Their pricing starts at around $2 and goes up from there based on the quality of the stick (another term for cigars) you’re interested in.
3: Staff Knowledge
For someone like myself who has only started liking cigars in the past few months, one of the most important aspects of a good cigar shop for me is the knowledge of the staff. Since I don’t have the knowledge of exactly what I like yet, I need someone who knows what they’re talking about to help me, and most importantly, I need someone who won’t rip me off by selling something that’s too expensive.
King Beaver Cigars wins again with this category. Before planning on writing this article I had stopped into the shop with my wife and was treated like an old friend as soon as I walked in. Since then I’ve met 3 employees as well as the owner Gerry, and I’ve received the same level of advice, care, and information each time. From learning the history and lineage of cigars, to just finding the best one for you, this shop is amazing.
4 & 5: Comfort and Atmosphere
There are two major aspects to a great cigar shop: sales and enjoyment. A great shop has the selection and knowledge needed to find your perfect cigar, but it also needs to be a place people want to sit and relax. King Beaver Cigars offers 10 padded armchairs that feel just about perfect to kick back in as well as a small high table with 4 additional seats around it. There’s also a back deck with enough room for a medium-sized party, too.
Gerry started King Beaver Cigars because he wanted:
A place for me and my friends to go to and relax that wasn’t a bar.”
By no means is he or I knocking the need to catch up over a few beers, but when you’re looking to relax and still drive home safely, sometimes the bar isn’t the best option.
The shop is not upscale by design, but rather a clubhouse of sorts, or as Gerry puts it:
A middle-aged boys club.”
Along with the line of seating, the shop also offers a large television that’s connected to just about any form of entertainment you’d want. As for atmosphere, the shop is a glorious mixed bag, and that’s a really good thing. One night you may find a group of college students kicking back, each with a cigar, and watching a Hockey game. Another night you may find a group of retirees relaxing while talking politics. Most nights however it’s a mix of everything and unlike a bar, this mix works perfectly.
INSIDER TIP: Ask for a strip of cedar to light your cigar with. The staff will gladly give you a piece and it’ll be the best, cleanest light you’ll ever have.
King Beaver Cigars: Final Words
There was a time that cigars were thought to be smelly, annoying, and bad tasting things, but today there’s a renewed focus on quality and knowledge that’s akin to the craft beer movement. Cigars are starting to be seen as a totally acceptable recreational hobby that’s becoming more and more approachable.
If you’re looking for your first cigar, a gift for a loved one or coworker, or just want to get yourself a cigar for the weekend, King Beaver Cigars in Monaca is just about the perfect place to go. King Beaver Cigars also offers a variety of pipe tobacco as well as hookah smoking needs.
- Monday – 3-9 pm
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – 12-9 pm
- Friday – 12-11 pm
- Saturday – 12-9 pm
- Sunday – 4-10 pm
Closing times are flexible depending on the people at the shop and if there’s a good movie or sporting event on.
Address and Phone Number
- Address: 1106 Pennsylvania Avenue, Monaca
- Phone: 724-774-5166