VOL. 133 | NO. 27 | Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Tobacco Corner Closing Last Location
By Andy Meek
The Tobacco Corner Ltd., which has been a mainstay at the corner of South Mendenhall Road and Poplar Avenue for more than 40 years, appears on track to close its doors in April.
That’s according to Jeff Abel, whose parents Elliot and Sandra Abel opened the first Tobacco Corner on the Highland Strip in 1969.
“A lot of people knew my dad – a lot of people knew that shop,” Abel reminisced. “He started from nothing on Highland and built it up.”
The shop at 669 S. Mendenhall Road, which opened in 1972, is the last remaining location. The Abels had opened a few iterations of the shop in addition to once operating an adjacent business that sold magazines and newspapers, called the Tobacco Corner Newsroom, by their stores.
Jeff Abel, whose father died last year, said the Mendenhall location is in need of significant renovations. To have a successful tobacco shop in this day and age, he continued, a business like it also needs more – things like an upscale lounge, events, the ability to serve alcohol and coffee, he said, basically things to make it a destination.
“That’s what’s all over the country and really booming,” Abel said. “An old smoke-shop design doesn’t work in this day and age.”
Barring any change, the shop will be closing in April per an early termination of its lease.