Coming Soon: Maraya Cigar Shop at 87 Orchard

Posted on: August 23rd, 2010 at 6:32 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Those rumors about Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi assuming control of the old Guss’ Pickles HQ can now be put to sleep for the duration.  Six months after the pickle stand decamped for Borough Park as Ess-a-Pickle, a completely different type of business is moving into the small storefront.  A specialty cigar shop called Maraya.

This image has been archived or removed.

Saturday afternoon, the security gates were up and the doors open at 87 Orchard Street, beckoning us to explore further.  Sitting on the tiled floor inside with a trowel in her hand was one of the co-owners, Joy Florentz.  Ms. Florentz was busy preparing the space, but kindly took five to explain to us the nitty gritty.

This image has been archived or removed.

We learned that all of the craft cigars are hand-rolled and manufactured in the Dominican Republic. Florentz also stressed their somewhat non-traditional marketing stance – cigar smoking is an acceptable pleasure and should be enjoyed as such. Period.  Here is a bit of copy from their website:

Our aim is to preserve the centuries-old tradition and craft of cigar-making, an authentic livelihood, deserving a continued place in the world. We want to educate and inform those who continue to enjoy fine cigars made in countries around the world.

Maraya promotes the enjoyment of cigar smoking as an acceptable pleasure, rather than accepting being dogged in a downward spiral by negative social stigma. We want to enjoy cigars when and where we please, at appropriate times and in appropriate places without being forced into smoking rooms.

We celebrate the fine craft of cigar-making as an art form and artisinal form of pleasure today and for many generations to come. We encourage the fight for freedom to continue making great cigars, and freedoms to pursue our natural instincts of pleasure.

Maraya is tentatively scheduled to open in time for the third annual NYC Apple Day on September 26. Given the appearance of the interior, though, one month to ready the joint might be lofty thinking.  And as an aside, it should be noted that throughout our conversation, a number of people stopped to ask where Guss’ went.  Take pictures while you can, because that green-and-red awning is on its last legs.

This image has been archived or removed.

[April 2009]

Recent Stories

Vision Urbana Donates 1,500 Turkeys to NYCHA Residents in Largest Turkey Drive on the Lower East Side

The turkeys are coming! This week, Vision Urbana announced the largest ever turkey drive on the Lower East Side. It’s a feat which provides turkeys to over 1,500 families in NYCHA this Thanksgiving. Door-to-door turkey drop-offs have already begun, via Vision Urbana’s food pantry home delivery network. Just in time for folks to have their […]

Clayton’s Corner: Bloodied at the Bodega

We received a dispatch from Clayton Patterson about an aggro homeless man bothering business at the SX Grocery. You’ll recall that the family-owned bodega fell victim to an ATM cash machine heist, in which the robbers made off with $8,000 cash. Now, the store is apparently contending with an area homeless man who is “very […]

B&H Dairy Robbed, Cash Register Stolen

B&H Dairy is licking its wounds following yet another criminal incident on-premise. Late Monday night, the restaurant was robbed. Ownership reported on Facebook that its front door was compromised and its cash register stolen. The perp ran with the bounty around the corner to East Seventh Street, where co-owner Ola Abdelwahed found the machine busted […]

Astor Place Hair Saved by Deep Pocketed Investors, Including its Landlord

Astor Place Hair was all set to close this week, concluding an impressive seven-decade run. The pandemic reduced customers and business plummeted. Thanks to an eleventh-hour cash infusion, though, the barbershop will stay put. Indeed, news broke yesterday that a conglomerate of investors joined forces to raise the necessary capital. The group includes financier Jonathan […]

Eight Years After Extell, Still No Supermarket for Two Bridges

With One Manhattan Square an eyesore of the Lower East Side skyline for so long, it’s almost impossible to remember what came before. Almost. Indeed, it’s been eight years since Pathmark officially closed its doors, leaving the surrounding Two Bridges community bereft of an affordable supermarket. For much of the local population, a walk to […]