by Brittany Anderson
What started as a bank in the 1920s on Buda’s Main Street is now home to The Cigar Vault, a local business being recognized for its commitment to preserving the building’s history.
J.D. Sanford and Richard Alexander of the Buda Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) presented The Cigar Vault owner Jeff Beal and general manager Brian Foley with a framed poster on July 19. The poster details the building’s history and Beal and Foley’s preservation efforts. This is part of a new program by the HPC that will recognize businesses and the historical building in which they operate quarterly.
The building began as Farmers State Bank in 1928 and was one of the last commercial buildings constructed in Buda’s historic district. It closed just a few years later in 1931, likely due to the onset of the Great Depression. After later serving as a cafe, grocer and brokerage, among other things, the building was vacant for a number of years before Beal and Foley took over in 2017.
The building was left in a state of neglect and required extensive renovations. Despite this, Beal and Foley were able to preserve the original flooring, signage, roof, stucco façade and stepped parapet wall. Additionally, antique furniture and decor line the inside so patrons feel like they are stepping back in time.
Beal says that people travel far and wide to see the building’s crown jewel: the original bank vault. Here, a large selection of cigars are kept inside the temperature-controlled vault which acts as a humidor.
The Cigar Vault also offers local craft beer and wine on tap, handcrafted tobacco pipes and live music in their courtyard. There are two other locations in Austin and San Marcos.