CARSON CITY, Nev. — I left The Carson Cigar Company with a buzz in my brain and gratitude in my heart for a good martini and the bartender who built it, and it’s no small thing to get all that and smoke a cigar, too, in one darkly well-lit place during normal business hours. It’s impossible, in the place I live, and thus the more warming to find in Carson City, which isn’t Reno and not Las Vegas, oh hell no, and all the better for it.
It’s a cigar bar, right across N. Carson Street from another cigar bar that’s bigger, open later and easier to notice if you’re new in town. I’ll take this one. Ben, the bartender last night at Carson Cigar, is a stocky, bearded fellow with an easy barside manner and a master’s in education from Nevada Reno. He’s a good teacher, you can just tell, and he’ll be working on his first long-term contract in the fall when he leaves his summer bar gig and takes on history and poli sci classes at Carson High School.
I didn’t need Ben to be a good teacher, just a good bartender, and he got off to a solid start with the answer that it’s Beefeater in the well for gin. It worked, which I could just tell it would, and the pour was so good I could only do one, during which I finished one good smallish cigar just in time for the youngers in the bar to make a break for Jimmy G’s … the other cigar bar.
I don’t live for danger anymore, so I let ’em go, including Jamie (or Jamey … we didn’t exchange spellings or anything else) who fills the foreground, dangerously so, in the photo on this page, which you might not have noticed is a shot of the picture window looking out on Curry Street, which offers the better way in, the back way, to this worthy saloon in Carson Town.