Our History

In 1868 Racine & Laramie became San Diego's first cigar store. Having come from eastern Canada in the prosperity following the War Between the States, Messrs. Racine and Laramée sold cigars, tobacco, stationery, pipes, cutlery, and gentlemen's furnishings. The adobe they rented had been built in the 1820's as the retirement home for leather-jacket soldier Juan Rodriguez of the Royal Presidio.

It was one of the first six buildings in the small pueblo. At that time San Diego was home to 500 registered voters, and thousands of Kumeyaay. The Rodriguez family held ownership through periods of depression and the gold rush boom. Their son, Ramon, was on the city council. The widow Rodriguez had the building remodeled in 1867 and rented to Racine & Laramie and the Bank Exchange saloon. All was lost in the fire of 1872.

Using archeology, historic research and photographs this building has been reconstructed with the interior furnished and stocked as it may have been in that remote, frontier Pacific port.


Racine and Laramie operates today as a family owned and operated tobacco shop. We have been operating in California's Old Town State Historic Park for half a century.

We have a large selection of cigars, pipes, tobacco, chewing tobacco, humidors, and related goods. We have exclusive products you will not find anywhere else. We are committed to providing excellent service at a fair price.

We belive in community. We are the only store in the center city area of San Diego with full certification from Tobacconist University. We are one of only 80 TAA stores worldwide. Our staff is active in San Diego, working on numerous planning boards and non-profit groups ranging from community planning to historical reenactment.

Join Us

With free parking, WIFI, indoor seating, and a beautiful park to smoke in and enjoy, Racine and Laramie is a great place to visit. Come try something new or revisit a favorite. Bring a friend and make new ones. Come check us out!

open parking lot

man with grey beard

El Jefe

Geoffrey, the beloved tobacco gnome, rebuilt Racine and Laramie in the late 1960s. He is active in community planning, can fix just about anything, and works as an actor of stage and screen. He likes Peterson pipes and graphic design.

Man with pipe in cowboy hat


The sheriff is in town when retired Master Sergeant Lawing USMC is on the job.

Man with cigar in victorian garb


Is a steam powered anachronist. Joe can play a mean game of laser tag. He is a certified tobacconist and graduate of tobacconist university.

young man with cigar


Has been with the store since 2011. He likes traveling the world to learn about tobacco and new cigars.

Young man in red smoking jacket


Michael is the Stock Manager and Bookie at Racine and Laramie. He is a Blues guitarist and an avid Latin, Lindy Hop, and Swing dancer. Michael likes Nicaraguan cigars, Kool Kustom Hotrods, and baby kangaroos.


member of the TAA Racine and Laramie Ltd Tobacconist BBB Business Review

Member of IPCPR

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