SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In the heart of downtown Rapid City, you will find the Tinder Box, the town’s only cigar bar and lounge.

It was also recognized as a Diamond Crown Cigar Lounge, an honor only 51 businesses in the world have.

For guests like Dan Fields, the Tinder Box is where he comes almost every week.

“The Tinder Box is a great atmosphere and then it’s pretty much a community too. You have a pretty good group of regulars and bar staff is excellent, owners are always here, they’re good so it’s just a nice comfortable environment,” Fields said.

Because of its dim lights, comfortable chairs, and calming aesthetic he keeps coming back.

“It’s pretty chill, you can have a conversation, relax, have a cigar, have a beverage so it’s just a nice environment to come into,” Fields said.

Owners Chris Johnson and Caroline Sharp have ran the business for about 8 years. However, the Buell building has a long history in Rapid City.

Since 1888, this building in Downtown Rapid has been standing. It’s been a law firm, a clothing store and even a cigar lounge before it became what the Tinder Box is today.

“It’s just a really nice building. It’s great positioning downtown for us. We like it just because we are right downtown, we are in the thick of all the happening,” Johnson said.

To keep a speakeasy, old-style Hollywood and 1920s feel, Sharp says these paintings, dim lighting, and even a mini-grand piano help to achieve that.

“We want you to feel like you’re at home and we have regulars that come and they sit in their living space because the spaces are all nice leather seating and we want you to feel at home when you are here and comfortable,” Sharp said.

The Tinder Box is made up of a main lounge room, the Havana Room, the cigar box, and their event space downstairs.

“It’s a nice private space that is hard to find and we enjoy having guests in it,” Sharp said.

Several years ago, the Tinder Box was named a Diamond Crown Lounge by the J.C. Newman Cigar Company. There are only 37 cigar lounges in the nation with this honor and 51 in the world.

“Their status is very stringent. They are looking for excellent customer service and premium cigars in their locations so to hold on to that designation and to represent J.C. Newman is a big pride for us,” Johnson said.

While prestigious awards, famous cigars and lots of out-of-town visitors are unique to the Tinder Box, the Rapid City Community is essential to its business.

“We see us maintaining what we do, focusing on the customer experience, carrying quality cigars and providing a place that you want to come into and hangout,” Johnson said.

“I mean anybody can walk in the door and everybody says hello, it’s very community based so it’s just a good environment,” Fields said.

The J.C. Newman Cigar Company is the oldest family owned premium cigar maker in America.
This year was the company’s 125th anniversary.