News » Strokes & Plugs

Smoke gets in your ayes



Doug Shaw has owned The Sanctuary Tobacco Shop on Chorro Street in downtown San Luis Obispo since 1992, and he’s grateful for the more than a decade of success.

“Business has been very, very good for me, and I’m very fortunate,� Shaw said of his thriving cigar shop. “I don’t mind not being politically correct.�

But the smoky salesman has much more going on than just a room full of faux Cubans. Shaw has always taken an active role in local business and society, and soon he’ll be joining the Downtown Association’s board of directors — again.

“I like being involved,� he confessed.

After serving two years on the board, Shaw was forced to resign in June 2003 in order to fulfill his duties as president of the Rotary Club. The multitasking merchant has also served on the city’s economics committee, parking committee, and
promotions committee.

The Downtown Association collects a tax from downtown businesses like The Sanctuary and uses that revenue to improve the downtown community, to keep it clean, safe, and orderly.

“It’s an ongoing effort to keep your eyes open and make sure things are happening as they’re supposed to,� Shaw explained.

The biggest issue facing the Association today is the Marketplace project, Shaw said. Like many downtown business and property owners, Shaw worries that the massive retail venture will have a very significant effect on the downtown. And while the Downtown Association cannot act as a political arm, many of its members have actively spoken out against the Marketplace.

“I for one am lobbying voters to turn it down,� Shaw said, in reference to an upcoming citywide referendum on the project. “I don’t want to see it here.�


Drummer Kenny Aronoff is coming to San Luis Obispo to host the first in a series of drum clinics to be conducted by the Drum Circuit Drum Shop and Drum School. The enormously successful studio musician has performed and toured with bands like The Rolling Stones, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Kenny Aronoff Drum Clinic will be held at the Mountainbrook Community Church on South Higuera on Thursday, Feb. 24, and is being sponsored by Tama Drums and Zildjian Cymbals. Admission is $5 at the door or $4 in advance. For tickets or additional info, call the Drum Circuit at 543-0338. …

… The pregnancy counseling and family support center of the Central Coast, ALPHA, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. Nine local women launched the center as a crisis pregnancy hotline in early 1980, and today they provide counseling, clothing, food, and money to over 1,000 Central Coast women and families each year. The name ALPHA came from the first letter of the Greek alphabet, to symbolize a beginning for a woman and her unborn child, but now they’ve adopted the motto “Acceptance, Life, Professional, Help, Alternatives.� To learn more about ALPHA and the services they offer, give them a call at 473-2979. …

… Moonstone Hotel Properties is pleased to announce a series of “Gardner’s Getaways� being held at Cambria Pines Lodge. The series of free demonstrations and gardening workshops will run throughout the year and run the gamut from bonsai cultivation to living birdhouses. For more info, to pre-register, or to see a calendar of events, contact the Cambria Nursery and Florist at 927-4747.

Staff Writer Jeff Hornaday compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. E-mail him at


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