John Crouch Tobacconist – Another Old Town Icon
By Bob Tagert
When I started the Old Town Crier in January of 1988, John Crouch Tobacconist was an established business in the 100 block of King Street. Over the years, as Old Town grew, the need for more space became more urgent. In the early 90’s the shop moved to their current location at 215 King Street. On February 1, 2022, the team of Tom Readmond, Dennis Polio and John Pann took over ownership of the iconic Old Town landmark and it remains the oldest continuous operating smoke shop in Alexandria.
Recently the trio rolled up their shirt sleeves and gave the interior and humidor a complete makeover. Although the layout is much the same, the organization of the whole store has improved and their product is better displayed. In addition to updating the interior, they have also changed the logo, pictured here, and will soon implement it on all future marketing endeavors.
The humidor has new lighting so the selection of cigars are more easily observed, making your selection easier. Pann continues to seek out new lines of cigars that his customers may be looking for or that he might recommend. With over 200 brands and 10,000 cigars, the current selection is pretty good to begin with. If you really don’t know which cigar might suit you best, ask John, Tom or Dennis for a recommendation. I let John pick out some each month so I can try something new, however, I also ask for my favorites as well. The service and knowledge of the folks at John Crouch is unmatched.
With the first phase of changes made, the trio of owners will continue to improve elsewhere. They have recently started offering offsite cigar themed events where they supply the cigars and help educate attendees. “Let us know and we can be there with cigars at your party,” says John. They already have several venues in the area on a monthly basis. In house, they have rearranged and enlarged their seating capacity so you can sit for a spell and enjoy a cigar and some good company. They are always updating their inventory with new established lines as well as boutique cigars. They also carry rare and limited release cigars.
In addition to fine cigars, John Crouch also carries an assortment of pipes and accompanying fresh tobacco blends. While I haven’t smoked a pipe in quite some time, John Crouch has one of my all-time favorites – the Cobble Stone blend. It has a very pleasant, as well as distinctive, aroma. My former partner Dave smoked it on a regular basis when he was trying to cut down on cigarettes and he always said that the ladies he encountered over the years like the aroma as well.
The shop also carries a selection of cigarettes as well as all of the accessories needed to keep your choice of tobacco lit and stored – lighters, humidors, pipe stands, etc.
Visit an Old Town original at John Crouch Tobacco Shop…and yes, there really was a John Crouch. He was the original owner 50 years ago. Stop in for a great smoke and conversation.
John Crouch Tobacconist
215 King Street
Old Town Alexandria