When you think of cigar factories, you probably picture the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua as the backdrop, but what about downtown San Diego? Gran Havana cigar factory is located in a historic downtown San Diego cigar warehouse that first opened in the 1900s. Gran Havana is the creation of Ahmad Mesdaq, who opened a coffee shop back in 1994.
One of Mesdaq’s customers came in looking for cafecito, a type of espresso that originated in Cuba. As Mesdaq worked with the customer to learn how to make cafecito, he also learned about cigars. Suddenly, Mesdaq was making more cigars than he was brewing coffee. Gran Havana was officially a part of the San Diego landscape.
Gran Havana only offers its own house blend of cigars. These cigars are individually handcrafted and rolled in front of you in the store. Gran Havana cigars are aged for at least six months and have fillers from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The binders are all from Nicaragua, and wrappers are sourced from Connecticut and San Andres. These cigars can be purchased in the store and online.
Even though cigars are the main focus at Gran Havana, Mesdaq hasn’t forgotten his origins. While enjoying your cigars in the store’s lounge area, you can also indulge in a selection of organic coffees, teas, fresh crepes, gelato, and pastries. Gran Havana is a must-visit for anyone dining or partying in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Come and experience the tradition of cigar making in downtown San Diego.
745 Fourth Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
Interior photo courtesy of Gran Havana