Smoke Shop in Boulder CO. Closes After 100 Years in Business


Sad to see a smoke shop surviving for 100 Years and having to close doors due to competition from the Internet.




Eads News & Smoke Shop, an iconic Boulder store, has shut its doors after being in business for a century.

The store opened in 1913, the same year businessman R.J. Reynolds revolutionized smoking with the pre-packaged cigarette. Woodrow Wilson was president, the first World War was brewing and Babe Ruth would soon start playing for the Red Sox.

On Monday, "closing sale" signs remained in the windows of the shuttered shop at the corner of 28th Street and Canyon Boulevard. An update on the store's Facebook page announced its closure.

The signature clock that juts from the building stopped ticking a while back, but it's a widely recognized landmark in Boulder.

"It was always right at least twice a day," said Steve Ruddock, who is in the real estate industry and has been frequenting Eads since the 1980s. Asked where he'll go now, Ruddock quipped: "I guess I'll have to stop smoking."

Last summer, the shop went up for sale, and owner Arlene Veblen said that if no qualified buyer came through, the Boulder establishment would shut down. Veblen could not be reached for comment Monday.

The area is on track for a major redevelopment as Boulder-based Pedersen Development Group plans a roughly $80 million project that would include two new hotels in place of the Golden Buff Lodge and The Buff restaurant, a diner visited by President Barack Obama on his trip to Boulder in September.

A moving truck was stationed outside the newspaper and smoke shop Monday, and employees from Mile High Comics in Denver were towing away storage racks they had bought for their shop.

Meanwhile, disappointed customers arrived at the door to find the shop shut down. Among them was Alex Exline, a University of Colorado student with a craving for a vanilla Dutch Masters cigarillo.

A Facebook message posted Sunday on the Eads page says: "Eads News and Smoke has closed its doors after a century of business in Boulder. We thank all the patrons who have shopped here."

In 1985, Eads moved to the 28th and Canyon location after being at 2675 Arapahoe Ave., according to Hope Arculin of the Carnegie Branch Library. Prior to that, the shop was at Broadway and Walnut Street.

Jonathan Crenshaw, 22, has many memories of Eads, including sneaking furtive glances at the "Adults Only" corner from behind his own Superman comic. His grandfather bought Red Man chewing tobacco from the "store with a big clock," Crenshaw remembers. It was the place where he bought his first cigar and first "Playboy" magazine -- as well as literary magazines and political journals.

He said he's sad to see the shop go, but it doesn't surprise him in a town that is all about clean living.

"It's hard to compete with the Internet, and Boulderites aren't big fans of smoke," Crenshaw said.


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