Why the Tinder Box in Rapid City SD is a Must-Visit Venue
Whether you’re a cigar novice or a Brother of the Leaf, if you’re in Rapid City SD, the Tinder Box is worth at least one visit (if not two or three).
Cigar tobacco in the United States finds its roots in the sandy soil of Connecticut. Before America was America, our ancestors were acquiring and cultivating tobacco seeds. Colonel Israel Putnam of Massachusetts was an officer in the British Navy (yes, we were still British colonies), was shipwrecked while invading Havana, Cuba. As the story goes, he survived the shipwreck and made his way home from Cuba with quite a lot of Cuban tobacco seeds, as well as somewhere around 30,000 Cuban cigars. Fast-forward to today: cigars, while a fairly exclusive commodity, can be very big business. No one knows this better than Chris Johnson and Caroline Sharp, managers and proprietors of America’s prestigious 37th Diamond Crown Cigar Bar – the Tinder Box.
If you find yourself looking for downtown Rapid City entertainment, you’ll find the Tinder Box just exactly the right spot. It draws you in before you even see it, pulling at your senses of sound and smell from a block away. Depending on the day and who is working, you will hear a variety of music. Jimmielynn loves the 80s; Amy is eclectic, so you never know what you will get; and Jon, a bona fide music connoisseur, favors Rat Pack, the Blues, and French art song. As you get a little closer, the sweet/pungent tang of cigar smoke draws you to the entrance, where you are greeted by the tasteful mosaic of color, scent and sound that makes up the Tinder Box. From the historic tile of the outside foyer (the Tinder Box is located in one of Rapid City’s oldest buildings, the 1888 Buell Building), to the nooky charm of the main room and the offshot Havana Room, the Tinder Box literally pulls you in and makes you feel right at home. They offer an obscene assortment of cigars and smoking tobacco, have a full-service bar that serves everything from beer to top-shelf liquor, and they top it all off with some yummy side notes such as gourmet cheese trays and crusty personal pizzas.
Not ones to stop at fabulous ambience, the Tinder Box boasts a vibrant live music scene every Friday and Saturday. Featuring well-known and -loved local performing artists such as Orion & Stacey Potter, and Sophia Beatty, they often run into standing-room only issues. Aside from the live music there is also a speak-easy room downstairs, which is available to reserve for various intimate events, as well as those hosted by the Tinder Box. Cigar lockers and membership are also options, and the Tinder Box hosts a quarterly cigar dinner for their members. Proprietors Chris and Caroline are well-loved figures themselves and are great supporters of the Rapid City SD community. They stay involved in various civic organizations and back the community whenever and however they can.
Rapid City SD is not known as the Gateway to the Black Hills for nothing. If you have made your way to the Tinder Box from your Rapid City SD hotel, then you already know how close and convenient Rapid City SD is to everything you might want to do during your stay. Whether you have a desire to visit Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, the Badlands, or anything in between, you are never more than an hour’s drive away. We invite you to view our majestic national parks, tour our scenic byways, and dine at our unique and delicious eateries. And when you’re finishing up your day, please make your way the Tinder Box on 7th Street, where you can have an exceptional cigar and, if you’re lucky, hear a South Dakota guy or gal sing the blues.
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