Best Cigar Shop 2011 | Tinder Box | Shopping & Services | Phoenix
Tinder Box may be a chain, but there's a bit of local charm in the Mesa location that makes it feel as though Mom and Pop have been running the place forever. Local franchisee Jeff Clayton goes out of his way to make patrons feel welcome. The couches and chairs are big and comfy, there's tons of table space in the cigar lounge (the shop's a little more than 600 square feet, total), and there's a big-screen television airing numerous satellite channels. And chances are, Tinder Box has whatever type of pipe, tobacco, or cigar brand you're looking for. Tinder Box carries everything from popular stogie brands like Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta to high-end hookahs by Savinelli and La Rocca. And if you don't know what you're looking for, Clayton and company will gladly make suggestions and let you smell all their loose-leaf tobacco. Best of all, you don't need to go outside to smoke that stogie — this is a place that prides itself on the smell of fine-burning blends.
Since 1989, Headquarters has been supplying tobacco water pipe enthusiasts with the biggest and best equipment to support their, um, hobby. We were sorry to hear about the demise of Headquarters' longtime neighbor Eastside Records but happy when we heard that our favorite head shop would be taking over the space. The newly expanded store now houses a huge selection of pipes, bongs, and other smoking accessories, including a gorgeous supply of locally made goods, thanks to owner Ted Kaercher's dedicated support of local artisans. The friendly staff is enthusiastic about the goods and more than happy to answer any questions or help you decide whether you really need that four-footer when a pack of rolling papers will do.
The original Herb N' Legend location (at 5950 West McDowell Road) is cool enough, but with the opening of a second location on Greenway Parkway this year, Herb N' Legend went all out. They hired renowned Valley muralist Lalo Cota to paint a noir-ish cityscape mural that wraps around the interior walls of the store; they built a walk-in humidor for cigars that resembles a 1920s speakeasy; they installed a massive tiled mosaic water fountain in the corner (complete with throwaway tiles from U.S. Senator John McCain's guest house, we hear); and they beefed up their inventory to include the most extensive collection of pipes, bongs, vaporizers, hookahs, and other accessories in the city. They even have a separate gallery/showroom for their most expensive, intricate blown-glass pieces (including a colorful octopus bong). Smokers and stoners could go anywhere for their paraphernalia, but those with discerning tastes and an appreciation for glass pipes as art go to Herb N Legend.
Courtesy of The Farm
Tucked into a corner of The Farm at South Mountain sits the culmination of 37 years' worth of desert plant passion. Steve Martinez opened Succulentia on December 1, 2010. The greenhouse is stuffed with rare and hard-to-find cacti and succulents from Tucson, California, and Texas. Waxy leaf clusters, bonsai-esque plants, and spindly, spiny trees (ranging from $8 to over $1,000) line the tables in no particular order. Also on display is his own personal collection of award-winning plants. "You won't find these at Home Depot," says Martinez. Indeed.
As you drive through Arcadia, you can't help wondering how many trees and plants of the posh neighborhood started on the grounds of Baker Nursery. Established in 1968, the retro nursery keeps things tip-top with organized rows of lush vegetation just begging for a permanent home in your yard. Love and dedication is put into every flower, vine, and shrub by the knowledgeable staff. One trip to Baker's and you will never want to go back to the big-name home-and-garden center for your foliage needs again.
The guys at Relics do all the work for you, poor souls: They travel to Europe to personally select cool old stuff for their shop — and, by association, you. At Relics, they specialize in antique architectural and garden features — think hand-carved fountains, shabby-chic pottery, and architectural ironwork. If you are doing some landscaping, Relics is a great place to stop in to look for special items.
Love plants but have a black thumb? There is a business for that. Pearson & Company in Scottsdale leases you the plants, and its staff comes in to water and prune them, and, if they die on their watch, Pearson & Company will replace them. This is a perfect option for those who travel a lot. Or, if your Arizona home is one of many, and you would like a fresh hosta plant when you do the snowbird thing here.
There are countless skits on TV about getting friends to help you move across town. It really isn't funny, though, because friends shouldn't be swindled into moving for you. Hire some creative types who know how to be delicate with your fragile items, artwork, and precious goods. Unlike with your friends, if something is broken, Creative Moving and Packing carries insurance to cover it. So leave it to the professionals and invite your friends over for pizza and beer once everything is in place.
Keep your ride clean for a freaky low price at Clean Freak Carwash on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Van Buren. Get in and out in three minutes with its $5 car wash, or sign up for a monthly plan and get unlimited car washes. Pay $12 a month for a Nice 'n' Clean wash, which includes scented soaps, soft foam scrub, and spot-free rinse. Upgrade to the Freaky Clean wash for $16 and get a few extras, like a rim and tire scrub. Or, for $18, get the Obsessively Clean wash, including triple foam wash, Turtle Ice Wax, and paint protector. Clean Freak also offers free self-service vacuums.
Like many spas in the Valley, this Scottsdale spot offers a relaxing atmosphere and a tranquil feel, but we keep coming to Jurlique for the copper soaking tubs. Filled with salts, flower petals, and detox herbs, they'll let you soak your stress away. Jurlique grows its own herbs on site — that's only one of the ways this spa sets itself apart. With only six treatment rooms, it's not the largest spa in town — and we like that. It's big enough to accommodate a couples' massage room for custom aromatherapy massages, and that's just right by us.

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