Review: Bulldog Pipe And Cigar, A Private Club For Everyone

Updated: Oct 23, 2020


Bulldog Pipe & Cigar was founded in 2001 by Ken Smitheman and was acquired by Paul Banducci and his wife Mary in early 2014. Since that time inventory has more than tripled, and when the Bulldog Lounge opened in October 2015, the square footage doubled!


The mission of Paul and Mary was to build and expand the premium tobacco culture and community in the area. They have accomplished that mission and continue to move forward.


The serendipitous result is that at the Bulldog, regular customers become friends, and members of the lounge are like family. Whether one is brand new to pipes and cigars or has been a brother of the Leaf for decades, there is a place here for all and there is something for everyone!


Bulldog Pipe and Cigar can be found at:

200 West Hanley Avenue

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815

Kootenai County

(208) 762-4333 http://www.bulldogpipeandcigar.com



CIGARS:

At the Bulldog they have something for everyone. With over 150 different cigars to choose from and a selection that is constantly evolving, one does not lack for options. From well-established to boutique, brands range from the expected like Artuo Fuente and Padron, to the unusual like Room 101 and Crowned Heads. They make sure to cover every point on the flavor wheel and each spot on the strength scale. Looking for something large but mild? They have that! Need a dog-walking cigar but demand strength? They have that too! And everything in between. They also carry a selection of high-quality, handmade premium flavored and infused cigars. At Bulldog they believe in safeguarding the overall health of the industry. As Brick and Mortar shops have made up the backbone of the industry since its inception, they are very conscious to support cigar brands that support the perpetuation of the Brick and Mortar model. Unfortunately, not all cigar companies do business in a way that achieves this. Those who do not conduct business in a Brick and Mortar friendly way do not get shelf space at the Bulldog. This leads to some brands that many customers are used to seeing everywhere, being absent from their shelves. Sometimes questions about this arise. Hopefully, this has answered those questions. Of course, we would be remiss if did not mention that our fealty to local has led us to proudly carry Big Babe Cigars, owned by locals Chuck and Gary Schmidt! While the cigars are made in Nicaragua with Nicaraguan tobacco, the brand was built in Coeur d’Alene, ID. They are well worth smoking!


CIGAR ACCESSORIES:

Naturally, we carry a plethora of cigar accessories. Cutters, ashtrays, leather carry cases, travel humidors, and desktop humidors make us your complete cigar outfitter. From humidification systems to torch lighters there is something to satisfy everyone.


PIPES:

No Hobby is quite as lovely as owning and smoking a pipe. Their inventory serves as ample proof of that belief. They offer a wide variety of pipes and pipe tobacco that is sure to please both beginner and sage smoker alike. At any given time, one has nearly 200 pipes to choose from. They confidently say there is a style, and price point, for everyone.


Pick a material: Meerschaum, Olive Wood or beautiful Briar

Pick a shape: Billiard, Apple, Churchwarden, Rhodesian, and many more.


They carry names such as Peterson, Savinelli, Chacom, Nording, Mastro Beraldi, Big Ben, Icarus, and a dozen more. Looking for a budget-friendly fishing pipe? They got it. After a high-end churchwarden for long smoking/thinking sessions? Yup. Smooth finish, rusticated, sandblast, or completely unfinished? Got that too. And everything in between. Occasionally they dabble in estate pieces. Sometimes one might find a Ben Wade, Sheraton, Dunhill, Comoys…you never know what might turn up!


PIPE TOBACCO:

The selection of tinned and bulk pipe tobacco is equally expansive in brand, style, and format. Whether a fan of Aromatics, Virginias, Orientals, English blends, or something in between, one will find plenty of choices within each category. They have loose cut, coin cut, cube cut, crumble cake, sheet flake, shag, chop cut, and whatever may lay in between. Their ever-rotating selection includes brands such as Sutliff, Cornell & Diehl, Peterson, Lane, Stokkebye, Mac Baren, Rattray, and more.


PIPE ACCESSORIES:

Bulldog is home to plenty of pipe accessories as well. An array of pipe tool, pipe cleaners, ashtrays, pipe lighters, stands, tampers, reamers, and pouches, provides everything a pipe smoker needs to fully enjoy the hobby.



The Bulldog Lounge:

Come let the world fall off your shoulders as you sink into an overstuffed leather chair. Light a cigar and catch a ball game on one of our flat-panel TVs. Pack your pipe and hold court and conversation with new and old friends alike. Enjoy their custom Brunswick open pocket table. Of course, they also offer free wifi for any and all of your entertainment or work needs.


No good lounge is complete without top-notch ventilation and they take ours very seriously. Their air filtration unit was custom ordered and built to manufacturing warehouse-level specs. Combined with the air handlers and ductwork and designed by a leading civil engineer for the Spokane school district, you’ll find that anyone with any smoke tolerance level can enjoy the lounge.


Explore new pairings as you sip your way through our offerings at the bar which include sake, wine, port, cutwater cocktails, and a wide variety of beer. With particular focus on our beer selection, they hold a fierce loyalty to our local and regional ties. Everything on tap is local, and their bottle fridge is local and regional, with only a few exceptions. All of their beers are microbrewery made.


While a usual day in the lounge is adventure enough, they also have regular and special events. Potluck, Ladies Night, Pipe Club, Board Game Night, and Bible study provide a solid line-up of things to participate in and enjoy. Pairings, Prohibition-style parties, special beer releases, tap takeovers, blending seminars, and more happen throughout the year. See the calendar, or check Facebook for upcoming events! Private parties are also welcome at the lounge.


And before you ask: Yes, they are located in the Silverlake mall. Yes, the lounge is real. Yes, you can smoke and drink. And they promise you won’t even remember you’re in the mall. Don’t believe it? Go see for yourself, and discover how they are a private club for everyone!


Lounge Access and Hours:

Monday - Saturday: 1PM - 9PM



MEMBERSHIP DETAILS


CONNOISSEUR MEMBERSHIP

$35/month or $350/year

All day access to general lounge and amenities

(no minimum product purchases or Day Pass required)

Use of “Members Only” Speakeasy Door

Access to “lounge only” products and services

10% off all products in shop and lounge

15% off Bottles / 25% off Draft & Drinks by the glass

Exclusive first access to new & promotional products

Discounts on ticketed events


AFICIONADO MEMBERSHIP

$55/month or $550/year

All day access to general lounge and amenities

(no minimum product purchases or Day Pass required)

Use of “Members Only” Speakeasy Door

Access to “lounge only” products and services

10% off all products in shop and lounge

15% off Bottles / 25% off Draft & Drinks by the glass

Exclusive first access to new & promotional products

Discounts on ticketed events

Tobacco of the month club – new cigar in locker every month

Personal & humidified locker for cigar, beverage, and accessories storage


DAY PASS

$8

Although this is a members’ club, Day Passes are available for $8 or get a free day pass with any minimum $8 in-shop product purchase.


Review:


Well that was a ton of information. The good thing is every last word is true. There are plenty of cigar lounges across the country, but not every one of them has something special to offer. This is where Bulldog Pipe & Cigar comes into play. First, I have had the chance to speak with Paul on several occasions. From the first conversation all the way to the last it has been nothing but pleasant. He really does have a passion for this industry. His knowledge runs deep and he is happy to share it. I have personally purchased items from Paul. Half of the time when you are asking for recommendations and advice you become shocked that he is in business. It is apparent that that end of it is never in the front of his mind. What is in his mind is his customers, friends, and the progression of a place for all lovers of the leaf to come. His selection for both pipes and cigars is nothing short of amazing. The brands he chooses to keep in his shop are all top notch. Some of them I had never even heard of until Paul made the introduction. The same goes for his local beer selection and wide variety of adult beverages. I really am hard pressed to say you could find a flaw with the shop or lounge. It really is that good. Now when i was writing this up I did have one problem that I needed to solve. No matter what I was to write there would be skeptics. There would be individuals that assume this article is being written for personal gain or in partnership. I wanted to make sure that this did not happen. I could only come up with one solution. While I am a customer that just does not prove my case. Below is my personal connoisseur membership card.


Why is this important you may ask? I live on the East Coast which is no where near The Bulldog Lounge. I believe in Paul and what he is doing to the point that I had to sign up. While I do not utilize every available perk of this card I am proud to say that I am a member. I would also like to add that ever down to the membership cards the quality and pride remains the upmost importance. This card is made of metal which feels like an AMEX Platinum card. It really is the icing on the cake. I will be traveling to make a visit in the near future. The shop and lounge get the Big Chief stamp of approval. I hope to see you there.

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