Buda Back in the Day: Cigar Vault
Buda Back in the Day Video: Cigar Vault
Buda Back in the Day is a video series that profiles stories emphasizing the history of Buda. This time around we are profiling the Cigar Vault building in Downtown Buda.
“I moved to Buda 30 years ago and this building had always caught my attention kind of the one stand alone building on Main Street on the north side.”
Stepping inside the Cigar Vault is like taking a trip back in time and that’s exactly how Cigar Vault General Manager Brian Foley wants you to feel.
“We wanted it to feel like you were coming into our living room and not someone’s business. It’s got a comfort level that is really cool,” said Foley.
From the many pieces of antique furniture, to the photos of actors and actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Era, you will get a sense of nostalgia.
A few years ago, Brian’s dream of opening his own Cigar business in Buda came to life.
"Jeff Beale, the owner, is the one who secured the building and then I came on early to help him get it going. There were major renovations. It really didn’t have any plumbing. The electric was all out of date. The floor was a little unstable, so he put a lot of time and effort and money into renovating the building to how you see it now.”
During the renovation they found a few items.
“I find a little vile of these saccharin tablets. And it had a price tag on it of 25 cents and they were little teeny tiny things and that was pretty cool.”
Built in 1929, the building was originally constructed as a Farmer’s State Bank, but shut down in 1931 during the Great Depression. It was later a cotton brokerage firm, a confectionary, where they served ice cream sundaes and root beer floats, an office for a construction business and an antique store. (Information taken from the book "People and Places in and Around Historic Buda" by Mary Giberson and Barbara Younts)
“Other than painting the walls, improving the electrical and plumbing, it is as it was back in the 1920s.”
Foley says they even have the original grandfather clock that was in the building.
"It was hardwired into the clock that is over the façade in the front of the building. A customer donated it to us one day. He came in and said this is the original clock and it should be back in its proper home. So he donated it to us and we have it proudly displayed.”
One of the most unique parts of the building is the vault that existed when it was Farmer’s National Bank. It now serves as the walk-in cigar humidor. The original safe is still inside the vault.
"We’ve had three people try to open it and they’ve been unsuccessful. And I’ll go on record saying I was rooting against them. I like the mystique. It’s a really cool old safe and the mystique gives it this little extra aura to it. And I kind of think whoever shut it last probably got what was in there and took off.”
From the ceiling to the wooden floor, Brian and the building’s owner tried to keep everything true to its original form. Even the floor surrounding the vault is original.
Foley believes it’s the historic charm and legacy of the building that draws people in.
“The ambiance and atmosphere that we try to promote here I believe draws people in whether they smoke cigars or not. We kind of look at us as the unofficial community center of Buda and just bring people together to talk."