Old-world traditions meet modern tastes at Tabanero Cigars

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When Yanko Maceda took a breath in the cigar shop, it took him back to his grandfather’s house in Cuba.

Those memories are part of his vision at Tabanero Cigars in Ybor City. The shop, on the corner of 7th Avenue and 16th Street, features hand-rolled cigars, Cuban coffee, and wine by the glass.

“This country has so much opportunity,” says the Cuban-born entrepreneur, who hopes to sell his Tabanero cigars to other shops and spread his brand past Tampa.

“Tampa used to produce 600 million cigars a year,” says Maceda, who knows mass production may never return here, but he believes there’s a market for premium cigars from Tampa, still known to some as The Cigar City.

He also believes Ybor City can become a destination for new combinations of fine cigars, craft beer, and craft cocktails.

On this day, four workers are making cigars by hand in the front window.

“They bring people in,” says Maceda, who advertises in Miami for immigrants with cigar-making training and experience.

Tabanero Cigars is just across 7th Avenue from Centro Ybor. It’s open weekdays 8:30-10 p.m. and weekends 8:30-11 p.m.