Adrian, MI, October 23, 2023 – One of Michigan’s oldest operating retail stores, Chaloner & Co. and the Chaloner’s Cigar House, is under new ownership. Between 2017 and 2019, Adrian Steel Company restored the historic Chaloner & Co. business, founded in 1874, and has now sold the venture to general manager, Laura Wanke.
“We wanted to help with the revitalization of downtown Adrian,” said Scott Westfall, a member of the Adrian Steel team. “Since the reopening in 2019, Chaloner & Co. has created a nostalgic return for longtime Adrian residents. Meanwhile, the upstairs has become a destination as the premier cigar lounge in Michigan. Laura has been with us from the beginning, and we cannot think of a better person to carry forward the legacy of Chaloner’s that began almost 150 years ago.”
Wanke, who has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality business and previously owned and operated the Mélange restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor, is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University’s Hotel and Restaurant Management program. She has extensive experience in fine dining, guest loyalty, restaurant management, event planning, and resource management. She is a long-time resident of Lenawee County and has been integral in growing the Chaloner & Co. brand over the past five years. “It has been an honor to be part of this story and I want our members and guests to know nothing is going to change with this transition,” said Wanke. “We are going to continue to bring people from around the country to Adrian to experience the Chaloner’s atmosphere, and we will keep investing in Downtown Adrian and Lenawee County’s success.”
Wanke will be the second Laura to own and operate the establishment. Laura Chaloner, who helped her father Charles establish and operate the business from 1893-1940, was one of Adrian’s first and most highly-respected and well-known businesswomen.
“Laura will ensure members and guests continue to have the same relaxing and enjoyable experience,” said former Adrian Steel president, David Pilmore. “Our vision was never to own the business long term, so this is an ideal time to transition the ownership to someone who loves the operation as much as we do.”
“Chaloner’s future is incredibly promising. In just under four years we’ve been able to extend our reach beyond Lenawee County, being recognized in the national publication Cigar Aficionado twice, and we are once again a cornerstone business of the downtown area,” said Wanke. “There’s nothing better than when a grandparent comes into the retail store and reminisces about their grandparents bringing them to Chaloner & Co. as a child. To be part of this extraordinary story is exciting.”
Chaloner & Co. and Chaloner’s Cigar House is southern Michigan’s premiere retail cigar store and lounge featuring an extensive selection of fine cigars, liquor, and spirits. Guests can visit the humidor, attend a special tasting event, listen to live music, or enjoy a cigar and drink with friends.
“The atmosphere of Chaloner’s is comfortable, relaxing, and memorable,” said Wanke. “The Chaloner’s team and I look forward to continuing the legacy for many years.”
Located in Adrian, Michigan, Chaloner & Co.’s retail store features an extensive humidor of fine cigars, as well as accessories and snacks. The second and third floor is home to Chaloner’s Cigar House occupies the top two floors with upscale comfort, billiards, a glass atrium, and a full bar.