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Connecticut Cigar Store Hosts ESPN Radio Show

Kentucky Derby Day is one of the most anticipated and memorable days on the sporting calendar, and while most people get ready with mint juleps and wagers on their favorite horse, the Cigar Factory Outlet in South Norwalk, Connecticut, was getting in on the action by hosting Tom Keegan and his weekend sports show on ESPN Radio.

The show aired live from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday and was co-sponsored by the Cigar Factory Outlet and Punch. Those in attendance received Punch cigars and an electronic dartboard with the Punch logo was raffled during the event.

On air, it was sports as usual for Keegan and his guest partner, Duke Castiglione, both of whom are avid cigar lovers. While smoking Punch Rare Corojos at the store, Keegan and Catiglione discussed the Derby at length, the verdict in the Jayson Williams trial and the ongoing Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. They also interviewed Elden Auker, a former major league player and the last living person to pitch to Babe Ruth.

"It was a fascinating event," said Ron Shapiro, who owns Cigar Factory Outlet with his son Brian. "Somewhere down the line we're hoping it will develop into a regular situation with [ESPN]."

Whether or not it does become a regular event, the Cigar Factory Outlet is growing into a haven for cigar and sports lovers in a state with an indoor smoking ban. In January, Shapiro and his son converted part of the store into a cigar club where members can enjoy leather couches, a wide-screen TV and a cabinet with rare and special cigars for sale. Events so far have included Yankees-Red Sox games and UConn basketball.

"It's worked out extremely well for us," said Shapiro of the club, "and much better than we ever expected."

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Connecticut Cigar Store Hosts ESPN Radio Show