Old City Cigar & Smokin’ Joe’s in Tennessee have announced that they will be adding an E.P. Carrillo branded lounge to their soon to be remodeled Smokin’ Joe’s Papermill location in Knoxville.

This will be both the second E.P. Carrillo branded lounge in the country and the second to go to one of  Mike Hicks’ stores. Late in 2012, Hicks announced that Smokin’ Joe’s in Alcoa, Tenn. would become the first E.P. Carrillo branded lounge in the world. The space was outfitted with a theme that drew from E.P. Carrillo’s current IPCPR trade show booth and featured leather massage recliners, a flat-screen television and artwork from E.P. Carrillo.

In February 2013, it was announced that Smokin’ Joe’s would be receiving an E.P. Carrillo lounge exclusive cigar, which has been reviewed on halfwheel here.

Cody Hicks, who is Mike’s son and who manages Smokin’ Joe’s, told halfwheel that work on the new lounge and other store renovations are to begin today, with hopes that it will be completed in about two weeks.

Plans are still in place to release an annual E.P. Carrillo Limitada for Smokin’ Joe’s; the project was announced in August and has been in the works since. The younger Hicks told halfwheel that “we are in talks on the blend of the Limitada and are considering a blend very close to the Dark Rituals in a Corona Gorda size.” He said that they are waiting to hear if E.P. Carrillo has the tobacco for the project and hopes to have an update by early November, with the cigar still slated for release early in 2014 at the store’s annual event with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, Jr.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.