The Connoisseur pipe shop was owned and operated by Ed Burak at multiple locations in new York City beginning in 1968, first at 51 West 46th street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and later in the Paine Weber building at 1285 6th Avenue at 52nd Street, both in New York City. It closed, and Mr. Burak retired, in February of 2009 after 40 years in business.
Connoisseur sold Ed Burak pipes, but Mr. Burak was a pipe designer, not a carver. The pipes were made by Tony Pesante of New Jersey or Joe Cortegiano of New York, who also made pipes for Barclay Rex and Wilke. Connoisseur also sold house tobacco blends almost universally appraised as excellent, and worth the higher than average price.
The Connoisseur name was stamped on Mr. Burak's pipes as well, and since the closing of the store is thought of more as a pipe brand than a location. The pipes are highly sought after by collectors worldwide.