OLD OAKS CIGAR COMPANY
The front room now has leather club chairs plus two high-top tables with four chairs each. The back room has about 20 seats and a long table. People, mostly men, come to have a beer, a glass of wine, and a cigar, or several cigars. They come in groups. If you don’t know anyone when you arrive, you will by the time you leave. The whole vibe is about comfort, chilling out and shedding the stress of the day.
Apart from the store’s own brand, which is rolled inside the humidor, San Lotano is the bestselling cigar. Chrikjian says the store recently sold 155 boxes during a San Lotano event. Almost every brand in every size you would want is available here. Old Oaks carries 250 to 300 lines. Tatuaje, based in nearby Los Angeles, is a big seller here, as well. A full 70 percent of the store’s sales are from cigars.
Chrikjian’s story is a classic American immigrant tale. In short, his family is from Syria, of Armenian ancestry. He came to the United States in 1981, first to Kansas City, where an uncle lived. Three years later, he was in southern California, working in restaurants. Now, with four brothers the family owns three cigar shops in the greater Los Angeles area. Albert runs Old Oaks with his brother Arsenne.
Albert Chrikjian sums up the whole deal pretty succinctly. “I’m very blessed.”
So are the cigar lovers of Thousand Oaks.