2771oldcantonA popular Madison beer retailer will soon have a second metro-area home, this time in Fondren.

Hops & Habanas, a craft beer and cigar shop, will sign papers this week on the former circa. location at 2771 Old Canton Road in the Fondren Plaza Shopping center next to Fondren Public.

Owner, Dr. Rick Miles, says the 4,200 square foot space will allow his business to not have to make choices when it comes to selection. “(In Madison), we don’t carry all of the beers like we once did because we don’t have the room,” he says of Mississippi’s growing selection of craft brews. “I don’t ever see that being a problem in Fondren.” Dr. Miles plans for multiple refrigeration units, a beer cave and a growler fill station.

The process to bring Hops & Habanas to the neighborhood began this past summer. “Everyone we talk to loves Fondren and so we said, ‘Let’s look there,’” Dr. Miles noted. A drive through the neighborhood looking for available space led him to the end of Lakeland Drive at Old Canton Road where he noticed a for sale sign. “I called (building owners Craig and Michele Escude) from the parking lot wanting to look at it.”

Dr. Miles says his interest in craft beer goes back to when he first moved here from Iowa ten years ago and couldn’t find anywhere to buy a keg for his home kegerator. “I was calling beer distributors who told me I’d have to go through a retailer,” he said of his search. “Then I stumbled on this guy next to Traditions, the liquor store we went to and he would order my kegs.” Some time later, Dr. Miles purchased the wine and next door beer shop. “My wife, Trayce, had been looking to get into a business, and so I told her,’ I bought you a hobby!’”

Hops & Habanas has worked closely with local beer advocacy organization, Raise Your Pints, to keep up with latest beer trends and news. “We’re a beer store that sells beer,” Dr. Miles says of his expertise. “You won’t find a better selection anywhere else, nor a sales staff that understands the product better than we do. We are experts at that.”

While there is still a process ahead (permits, licenses and some build out), Dr. Miles, an emergency room physician, is hopeful for a December 20 opening, just in time to capture Christmas sales.

In spring of 2015, Dr. Miles plans for an outdoor smoking deck in the back to help feature the “Habanas” side of his business. ‘We want to attract more cigar customers and we’re looking forward to having a venue where we can hold cigar events and beer launches, too.”