Santa Monica’S Oldest Flame, The Tinder Box, Santa Monica — Calisphere

Let’s start with some full disclosure: I don’t smoke. Other than the occasional cigarettes in rock clubs while drunk during my college days, smoking has never been something I’m into. And if you are aware at all you know smoking ain’t the best thing for you. That said, there is nothing quite like the smell of a pipe. My Pepe’ (that’s French Canadian for Grandfather) used to smoke a pipe. And the aroma of that burning tobacco takes me back to a kindlier, gentler, less educated time in my youth.

Watching: The tinder box

(Mod Betty’s dad smoked a pipe, so she knows what you mean KV!)

That is why I think The Tinder Box on Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica, California is retro worthy and a fun place to visit, even if smoking is not your thing.

How can you not love a place that has been puffing along since 1928? No small feat based on the way Santa Monica and the world’s attitudes toward smoking have evolved over the years.

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Stepping into this tiny store is like stepping back in time, if only for a few smoking minutes.


The Tinder Box offers a large selection of imported cigarettes, pipes and tobacco related items. Their giant walk-in humidor is packed floor to ceiling with a wide variety of cigars.

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Make no mistake, this is no head shop. The shopkeep working at The Tinder Box is sure to make you feel unwelcome if you come in looking like a stoner.


Be sure to engage him in conversation. He’s been there since 1996 and loves to talk about a time before “The criminalization of tobacco ruined people’s good times.”


Speaking of my dad, we had one of these when I was growing up, I always thought it looked like my dad for some reason. My dad would’ve loved this place!

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