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Conditions on Austin’s “Dirty Sixth” Street Drive Out Beloved Cigar Shop
City Neglect on “Dirty Sixth” forces yet another local landmark to abandon downtown Austin in favor of a cleaner, safer location.
Austin, TX — January, 2018
For 20 years and 364 days, Bobalu Cigar Company has been a favorite stop for locals and tourists visiting 6th Street in Austin, TX.
Unfortunately, Bobalu will begrudgingly close their original location at the end of January and begin servicing their customers from their much larger North Austin factory location only.
It’s something that Bobalu owner, Jeff Lipton, has fought for years as the City of Austin continued to neglect east Sixth Street, while focusing it’s attention and resources on developing Second Street, The Warehouse District, West Sixth Street, Rainey Street and just about every other area of downtown.
“Sixth Street, The Live Music Capital of the World, used to be the jewel of the city, if not the entire country. Now they should call it “Filthy Sixth” because the area has actually become a very dangerous place riddled with homeless people, crime and waste. It’s the last place that anybody from out of town would want to visit.”
It’s gotten so bad that Lipton is concerned about the safety of his customers and employees. Recently, they’ve had gun shots, cars broken into, massive drug overdoses, fights and people accosted in the area.
Lipton has persevered where many before him have failed. In fact, despite increasing regulations and costs levied against tobacco purveyors, Bobalu continues to grow and has cultivated a huge audience of adoring cigar smokers from around the world. Business is so good, that Bobalu opened a 2nd, larger location on North Burnet Road in 2015 that houses their cigar factory, a larger smoking lounge, walk-in humidor, off-street parking, and televisions for visitors to hang out and enjoy their cigars.
“It’s such a shame, and it didn’t have to be this way. I tried my hardest to keep the Sixth Street store open,” says Lipton. I’ve fought the city hard on cleaning up this area, and even stayed here longer than I should have in the hopes they would listen. I’ve seen this area lose a lot of great businesses, and I tried to stay as long as I could.”
As for Bobalu Cigar fans, Lipton wants to make sure you all know that despite the store closing, Bobalu is bigger and stronger than ever! He invites you to visit the Bobalu Factory Store located at 8501A Burnet Road Austin, Texas 78757, to watch the famed Cuban trained cigar rollers make fresh cigars daily, and even smoke your your favorite cigars.
Media wishing quotes or interviews about the effects of Sixth Street on local businesses should contact Bobalu owner, Jeff Lipton at 512-469-5877 or Jeff@Bobalu.com
“Like” Bobalu’s Facebook page at http://Bobalu.com/go/facebook.
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