I miss Hardwicks. I'm not alone in the community of Fresno area pipe smokers when I say that. They had everything the pipe smoker could want, in the convenience of a mall shop. With that said, the current atmosphere for the discerning smoker is still nothing to cough at. In the venerable tower district, there is "Perfect Blend Fine Cigars" which has been around a while, but I am just now coming to know. Then in old Fig Garden Village (as well as in old town Clovis) there is "Cigars Ltd", which contains a wonderful atmosphere for all things smoke. What they both seem to lack is choice. Cigars Ltd. has 28 fine blends of pipe tobacco that I am working my way through sampling, while Perfect Blend Fine Cigars may have a lager selection, but they both lack the cornucopia of selection that Hardwicks offered. There are no base components for blending your own special mixture, and many of my personal favorites have seemingly vanished forever. After viewing an order form from Parkers (a smoking institution in downtown Fresno for some long past decades) I realize that I should be thankful for the selection that is laid before me, and I am. But I reserve the right to look back longingly at what I had.
Tune in next time when I will begin reviewing the blends that ARE offered locally!