Robaina's plantation

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Partagas (the store-Havana) update March 2013

                 Some of you had the good fortune of travelling to Havana for the Cigar Festival and I'm sure you're already aware of the latest updates at the Partagas store. However, if most of you are like me, you couldn't make it to the Habanos festival this year.
                  I have it from a good source who was there this past month that the Partagas shop is no longer the place to be or where all the action is. There used to be a time when the Partagas store was almost always packed with tourists getting off tour buses for a visit to the factory and passing through the store before or after. The store is not that busy any longer with the factory above being closed for renovations indefinitely. It's actually not known if it will ever re-open. For the time being the Partagas factory has been set up behind the RyJ factory in a location that I only recently heard about. Another factory that isn't guaranteed to re-open in it's previous location in the Vedado district is the H.Upmann factory but it's operating normally out of the RyJ factory as far as I could tell from my visit there this past November. They seem to have entrenched themselves there and look quite comfortable as they churn out some of the best rolled cigars on the island. The RyJ factory store has now taken over the role of the Partagas store, having a factory above the store that still does tours. However, when the buses come in the place is so packed you can't move, the store is small for the amount of traffic it does. Getting back to I stated previously, La China and Odalys (behind the bar) are still there. Rene has returned to the RyJ store and Grecia from the Hotel Parque Central cigar shop is now the manager of the Partagas store. Hilda, the Partagas factory manager, has been released from jail and is under house arrest awaiting charges.
                  That's all I got for now. I feel bad for the Partagas store which had gained so much fame during the good times but maybe now with less confusion they can get on with business and we regulars may actually have some elbow room when we go to visit our remaining friends at Partagas.

PS............feel free to add comments, I'm sure there's lots I don't know.