‘You relax and smoke’
The special aroma that emanates from Gony Herrera’s Cigar Oasis is produced from the unique cast of characters who venture through at all hours.
“It’s a melting pot of all income and nationalities,” said Mike Perales, a cigar broker who has been in the business for 20 years.
“There’s a lot of places that are nicer, but you can’t get the flavor of true interaction of people. It’s like an old school cigar shop from the late 1920s and 30s. You relax and smoke. There’s conversation about politics, economics or ethnicity and you never know what someone is going to add in.
“Their selection is really historical. Gony has a unique palate and has a lot of quality cigars; it’s very Cubanistic,” Perales said.
He understands why Herrera’s hub is successful.
Word of mouth spread along with the customer base which extends to the surrounding western suburban area.
Over the last decade, he has brought in leaders from the industry for a social night which include: Ernestor Carillo, Charlie Torano, Casa Fernandez, Christian Airoa from Camacho cigars, Nestor Miranda, Luis Sanchez and Pete Johnson [of Tatuaje].
Torano came by in March to talk with the locals and show his line of eight cigars.
“I consider Gony part of the extended family,” said Torano. “He’s a personable guy, knowledgeable and loyal. I wish we had 1,000 guys like him.
“What sets the place apart is the people. You see here hugs and kisses; everyone is on a first-name basis. It’s like a barber shop. Come talk, no forbidden topic; nothing is off limits. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
— Seth Schwartz