New cigar shop

Deaf Leaf Co., a cigar shop, is hoping to open on Davis Street in Keene in mid-May.

A new cigar shop, smoking lounge and bar is preparing to open at 21 Davis St. in Keene, occupying half of the building that used to house Anderson the Florist.

Dead Leaf Co. hopes to open by early to mid-May, co-owner Jason Lapinsky said this week. The shop will offer premium cigars and pipe tobacco that can be smoked on-site, along with a full bar featuring 16 taps, liquor, wine and soda. Dead Leaf Co. will not offer food, but guests can bring in their own, said Lapinsky, who is launching the business with his friend and fellow Keene resident Josh Bezio.

When it opens, Dead Leaf Co. will have about five employees, and be open from noon to midnight seven days a week, Lapinsky said.

Before launching Dead Leaf Co., Lapinsky was the manager of Castro’s at The Station Cigar Bar, which was within the Center at Colony Mill. That business, which came to Keene in 2016, closed last April, after being evicted for several complaints about the odor of smoke.

At Dead Leaf Co., which will share its building with two other new businesses — The Frugal Marketplace and Guided Path Wellness — Lapinsky says he has a plan to limit the smell of smoke.

“We’re pretty well separated” from the other businesses, Lapinsky said, noting that the walls between them are doubled up. Additionally, he said, Dead Leaf Co. has purchased a $20,000 energy recovery ventilation system, which includes several dozen air filters. “I think I’ve got it covered this time,” Lapinsky said. “I’ll probably have some of the cleanest air, for a smoking environment.”

Lapinsky added that he has already gotten “a huge response” to the new business, including near-daily visits from people stopping by to see when it will open. Dead Leaf Co. is putting the final touches on its space now, Lapinsky said, and awaiting some permits from the city and the state liquor commission before opening.

Anderson the Florist, the previous business on the site, closed in late 2019 when owner Eric Anderson retired after nearly 60 years there.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.