The Morgan Hill Cigar Company reopened after the removal and unexpected demolition of many of the shop’s key furniture and fixtures.
The shop opened with a roomier front foyer and bar area Thursday afternoon, and resumed regular hours as of today, according to Morgan Hill Cigar Company manager Jeff Burrus.
The dozen-plus owners of the shop spent this week rebuilding a wall that enclosed the humidor, which stored members’ cigars and tobacco products. The wall was removed when former shop owner Wyatt Miller and his crew went to the shop to retrieve belongings that he left there when the current owners took over the shop in 2009.
The current owners, a board of 14 longtime customers, had planned on remodeling the shop as they knew Miller was coming to pick up several flatbed truck loads of his furniture and fixtures – including the wine bar, cash register counter, lounge chairs and couches – on New Years Day.
But they did not know that Miller was planning on demolishing the walk-in humidor that he built in 1996, which contained dozens of drawer fixtures for members to store their items.
After Miller and his associates started demolishing the wall, the current owners called Morgan Hill police and accused the former owner of unauthorized destruction of city property.
The city of Morgan Hill’s economic development corporation owns the building in which the cigar shop is housed. That building also contains the vacant Granada Theater and the Downtown Mall.
Burrus said Thursday that he and other owners have provided statements and photographs of the demolition to police, who have not yet decided whether or not charges should be filed.
Miller has leased his furniture and fixtures to the current owners since he sold the shop to them in 2009. However, after an ongoing disagreement about the items’ value, Burrus said the current owners decided to return the furniture and fixtures to Miller.
However, Burrus and other owners thought Miller went too far when he started removing the wall of the humidor without giving anyone notice. He also removed the humidor’s fixed drawers and some wine racks attached to the wall in the rear of the shop, which the current owners also thought he did not have the right to take.
Since reopening Thursday, the shop is notably roomier than it was before Miller removed his items, especially in the front of the shop where several couches, arm chairs and display shelves previously occupied the space.