Here at The Department we’re unabashed fans of Washington DC. It is a city of diversity, history, contradictions, beauty, tragedy, and style. We’re comfortable there, whether it be the wide avenues and museums along the Potomac or the energy of a U Street club. We love the people, the food, and how every neighbourhood has its own unique energy.
One of our favourite neighbourhoods is of course, Georgetown. The shops, the architecture, and the history make it an essential stop whenever we are in town. And if Georgetown has an epicentre, a heart, we’d like to nominate Georgetown Tobacco.
More than 50 years ago, just out of the military and with a young family to support, David Berkebile was casting about for a profession and noticed there were a lot of tobacco shops around. Those of us old enough to remember will know that on every corner of every town there was a “Smoke Shop.” He opened his first and has happily continued in the business ever since. And while smoking isn’t the habit it once was for so many, David has managed to not only survive but also thrive.
We think it’s because Georgetown Tobacco is more than a “Smoke Shop.” Young and old, rich, famous, and the rest of us, smokers and non, drop by because David has built a unique business. He has a full array of cigars from around the world kept in two large walk-in humidors. The store has thousands of pipes and a full range of tobacco for them. But the store also offers everything from beer steins to Venetian Carnival masks, hats, cufflinks, artwork, fine china, and just about any other accessory necessary for a life of fully realized personal style.
All this makes Georgetown Tobacco part clubhouse, part gathering place. It is a refuge for a wide variety of people, all of whom seem friendly, curious and relaxed. Even if you don’t smoke, a visit to Washington D.C. would hardly be complete without dropping in to say hello, and breathing in the rare atmosphere.