Cigar Bar

Fresh from Prison, Lawrence Amoruso Turns Mulberry Street into Tobacco Road

Despite his shop's location inside a wiseguy haunt, Amoruso said he has ''nothing to do with any of the John Gotti crap because, number one, that was never John Gotti's club. ''Anyhow, he added, the club these days is only visited by a handful of harmless pensioners who sit around playing cards. ''Regardless of who used to hang out there or what, if someone was killed in a building, does that mean the building is a bad building?''

But Amoruso hardly shies from the Mafia aurasurrounding the Andrea Doria. ''I mean, don't get me wrong...people eat that shit up!They love it!'' In fact, after a 1990 Gotti acquittal, Amoruso gushed to USA Today thatthe crime figure ''appeals to the evilside of people. People wish they could do what hedoes, but are too scared to do it.''

Amoruso, who works seven days a week in hisstore, has seen his business swell with the launchearlier this year of his Web site. A self-taught Macintosh user, Amoruso said he sometimes stays upto three in the morning answering e-mails from across the globe, notes soliciting prices and availability of certain cigar brands. To further familiarize himself with Web workings, Amoruso noted that ''I just bought Claris HomePage 2.0.''

The Three LittleIndians Web site, which lists a toll-free telephone number, triggers upwards of 50 calls aday and 20 mail orders a week, said Amoruso, who has recently shipped products to customers in Australia, Hawaii, and England. The businessman added that he expects to soon upgrade his Web site so that customers worldwide can order online, 24 hours a day. Cigar aficionados will only have tokey in their credit card information and mailing address to place an order.

But this sensitive financial information, Amoruso assured,will be protected from prying eyes by the most advanced encryption software available.

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