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Back in the September 2007 issue of Tactical Knives, I mentioned I had recently visited what I thought was the last remaining cutlery shop in Mayor Bloomberg’s kingdom of Manhattan. It didn’t take long for someone to point out to me that this statement wasn’t totally correct. Lawrence Amoruso also features a wide variety of both factory and custom cutlery in his private showroom upstairs at Florio’s Grill and Cigar Bar in the “Little Italy” section of The Big Apple. Needless to say, I paid the establishment a visit on my next trip to TK’s headquarters in New York.

Cutlery lovers frequently complain about how politically incorrect “sheep herding” liberal politicians are trying to make carrying any type of knife. That has certainly been true in New York City of late. For the record, do not carry a folding knife, no matter what its size, with the clip exposed in Manhattan. You can be arrested for “menacing the public.” Once you are stopped, expect the police to call any and all liner-lock folders “gravity knives.” Things will go downhill for you from there.

Despite the problems knife users are facing, I’m not sure that smokers aren’t having an even worse time of it in most major cities. Not only are they hit with excise taxes that far exceed the actual cost of the product, they are constantly being told they can no longer smoke in their long-accustomed places. Here in the Northwest the latest trend is to ban smoking in rental apartments or anyplace on the actual owner’s property, to include the parking lot!

Some time back, Mayor Bloomberg (an ex-smoker himself) made national news by banning smoking in New York restaurants. The ban also covered cigar bars. For all the talk about consenting adults doing whatever they want in private, those in power don’t seem to be willing to extend that freedom to activities like smoking a cigar. So Florio’s Grill and Cigar Bar is a hot bed of civilly disobedient customers, something all those old 70’s hippies turned 21st century liberals should be able to identify with. What goes around comes around guys! While I was there, the NYC health department actually inspected the restaurant and wrote out a citation for not enforcing the no-smoking regulations.

The smoking section of the establishment features the classic gentleman’s club atmosphere of an oak-lined room filled with leather furniture. Around the sides of the room are glass cases displaying some of the finest in both custom and production cutlery. Lawrence also goes out of his way to make those in the military service welcome in his cigar bar. As a result, he has an outstanding collection of service related memorabilia as well as a large display of challenge coins given to him over the years.

If you are one of those individuals that feels he should have the freedom to enjoy a quality cigar over a glass of single-malt while selecting a fine handmade knife for your personal use, Florio’s Grill and Cigar Bar is the place for you. Or at least it is as long as they can stay ahead of the New York Health Department.

When in New York, visit them at 192 Grand Street, NY, NY 10013; 212-226-7610 www.florios.com.

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