Churchill's cigar sampling room is opening at The Dram in Churchtown in Village in Southport, owned by Darren Boyd-Preece.

By Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport 

A brand new cigar sampling room is opening in Southport this weekend – the first of its kind anywhere in Sefton, and among the first of the few in the North West.

Churchill’s, named in honour of legendary wartime British Prime Minister and cigar smoker Sir Winston Churchill, is situated inside The Dram Gift Shop on Botanic Road in picturesque Churchtown Village.

The Dram originally opened in April 2022 and sells a range of whisky and whisky themed gifts, alongside other drinks including rum, Prosecco and beer.

From this Saturday (1st June 2024), customers will be able to walk into the shop and buy a cigar or cigarillo before trying it inside the new Churchill’s cigar sampling room, alongside a dram of whisky if they choose to.

There is also a garden area to the rear of the premises.

Inside the new room are photos of iconic actors, sportspeople, singers and others smoking cigars including Sir Winston Churchill, Madonna, Daniel Craig, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Demi Moore, Quentin Tarantino – and The Dram owner Darren Boyd-Preece.

Churchill's cigar sampling room is opening at The Dram in Churchtown in Village in Southport, owned by Darren Boyd-Preece.

Churchill’s cigar sampling room is opening at The Dram in Churchtown in Village in Southport, owned by Darren Boyd-Preece.
Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Cigar aficionados can smoke cigars on the beaches, they can smoke cigars on the landing grounds, they can smoke cigars in the fields and in the streets, they can smoke cigars in the hills; now they can smoke cigars inside Churchill’s in Southport.

Darren Boyd-Preece said: “We have been working on opening a new cigar sampling room here at The Dram for several months.

“Customers don’t have to book, just turn up, although we’ll have to gauge how popular it’s going to be.

“This will be the first cigar sampling room in Sefton, and one of a few in the North West.

“I only know of the Puffin’ Rooms in Liverpool city centre, which I really like; and another venue in Chester.

“There is nothing else like Churchill’s in this area. Mind you, there was nowhere like The Dram locally until we opened two years ago!  We like to offer quality new experiences for people.

Churchill's cigar sampling room is opening at The Dram in Churchtown in Village in Southport, owned by Darren Boyd-Preece.

Churchill’s cigar sampling room is opening at The Dram in Churchtown in Village in Southport, owned by Darren Boyd-Preece.
Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

“We have been able to get dispensation through the 2006 Health Act which enables people coming to our premises to smoke indoors.

“This dispensation applies only to smoking samples of cigars, cigarillos and pipes; it does not apply to cigarettes or vapes.

“It took us six months to get this approved. We had to prove we are a specialist tobacconist and then secure dispensation from the Environment Agency, Sefton Council and other bodies, such as Merseyside Fire & Rescue.

“We have had extra ducts fitted and have lots of ventilation, so no smoke seeps into the shop.

“We have Cuban suppliers with all the famous brands that people know such as Montecristo and Romeo and Juliet; New World suppliers, which includes cigars from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua and others.

Churchill's cigar sampling room is opening at The Dram in Churchtown in Village in Southport, owned by Darren Boyd-Preece.

Churchill’s cigar sampling room is opening at The Dram in Churchtown in Village in Southport, owned by Darren Boyd-Preece.
Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

“We also supply cigars by Davidoff, whose brands include Winston Churchill Cigars.

“Prices range from £15 to £70 / £80, with cigarillos £3-£6.

“People can call in and sample a cigar or cigarillo along with their favourite dram of whisky, or a beer or a Prosecco.

“We will be hosting cigar themed events at Churchill’s with details released soon via our social media channels.

“This is a great space where people can come in, sit down, relax and enjoy themselves.”

Darren and wife Rebecca took some time coming up with the perfect name.

Churchill's cigar sampling room is opening at The Dram in Churchtown in Village in Southport, owned by Darren Boyd-Preece.

Churchill’s cigar sampling room is opening at The Dram in Churchtown in Village in Southport, owned by Darren Boyd-Preece.
Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

He said: “We were coming up with all sorts of cigar themed names for our new venue.

“We were in a pub together and asked a barman what name he associated with cigars?

“He said ‘Charlie Chaplin’ and we were really confused because we didn’t know Charlie Chaplin smoked cigars.

“He said ‘Yes – Charlie Chaplin, that bloke who was British Prime Minister during World War Two…

“He meant Winston Churchill!

“As soon as we realised who he meant, it made sense.

“Churchill’s is the perfect name for our cigar sampling room. We have Sir Winston Churchill’s image as our logo.

“We couldn’t think of a better name.

“We have a photo of Sir Winstion Churchill smoking a cigar on our wall, alongside some other legends from the worlds of politics, entertainment and sport. They include: Arnold Schwarzenneger, Sylvester Stallone, Madonna, Sir Winston Churchill, Demi Moore, Michael Jordan, Daniel Craig, Quentin Tarantino and me!

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone from Saturday onwards.”

The Dram Gift Shop originally opened on Botanic Road in Churchtown Village in April 2022.

Its growing popularity has led to a need for bigger premises, and The Dram subsequently moved into a unit twice the original size just a couple of doors down.

The premises were previously occupied by Arty Bitz and by Felicity Hat Hire before that.

A popular addition has been the ‘Peacock Lounge’ tasting room, an even greater selection of whisky and spirit themed goods for people to buy and an expansion from bottles of whisky to include rums and gins.

There is every whisky themed product on sale, including whisky themed sauces, whisky soaps, whisky bath products, whisky salt, whisky fudge, whisky perfume, cut glass, cigar products and more.

There are whisky flavoured chocolates, created specially by Botanic Road Fine Chocolate in Churchtown.

And there is an impressive selection of specialty whisky, rum and gin bottles that you won’t find in local supermarkets. Shoppers can try some of the whisky on offer inside the shop before they buy.

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Do you need advertising, PR or media support? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrownn@gmail.com

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