15 Sep HICKEY BROTHERS: SIT BACK & RELAX
By Sean Leary
History cloaked cigar store and hookah lounge has always been an exclusive company.
With a history that goes back to 1901, Hickey Brothers is a shop as bold, eclectic and robust as the cigars that line its shelves. Located at 130 18th St. in downtown Rock Island, it’s open Mon-Tues 11-10, Wed-Thurs 11-11, Fri-Sat 11-1 a.m., closed Sunday.
Hickey Brothers has a great selection of premium cigars, climate-controlled for maximum aroma and taste. The shop features 12 humidors, over 100 Hookah flavors, disposable and refillable e-Hookahs, Vapor pens, accessories and more.
“It is truly the only cigar store left in the Q-C, and the only place left where you can smoke inside and do hookah,” said owner Michelle Royal. “Selection is made by taste and reviews and trade shows, as our stock varies and changes from time to time.”
While Hickey Brothers is a thoroughly hip and modern hangout, its history is long and diverse, tracing back to the shop’s founder, William Augustus Hickey, who was born in Davenport, Iowa on July 21, 1883. Pooling $745 he and his brother Dennis made selling newspapers in Davenport, they opened their first cigar store, at 123 E. 3rd Street, in 1901. William Hickey was 17 years old. Dennis was 12.
From there the brothers became a national institution, controlling the wholesale tobacco market in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. By 1951, Hickey Brothers had become the nation’s third-largest cigar store company with 130 stores in 68 cities and 19 states, as sales soared from $12,000 in 1901 to $7,000,000 in 1951.
But just six years later, on March 19, 1957, all 156 stores closed, after the death of their founder.
In 1997, 40 years after its demise, Clinton native Michelle Royal revived the Hickey Brothers name when she opened a Cigar store and Hookah lounge in the same location as the famed store No. 8 in Davenport. In 2000, Hickey Brothers Cigar Store & Hookah Lounge moved to its present location in Rock Island, IL where it continues to serve fans of fine, premium cigars and hookah.
For more information on the shop, check out www.hickeybrothers.com and www.facebook.com/HickeyBrothersCigarsHookah.