Getting Around Minnesota's Smoking Ban

This story is too funny:

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — All the world's a stage at some of Minnesota's bars.

A new state ban on smoking in restaurants and other nightspots contains an exception for performers in theatrical productions. So some bars are getting around the ban by printing up playbills, encouraging customers to come in costume, and pronouncing them "actors."

The customers are playing right along, merrily puffing away — and sometimes speaking in funny accents and doing a little improvisation, too.

The state Health Department is threatening to bring the curtain down on these sham productions. But for now, it's on with the show.

At The Rock, a hard-rock and heavy-metal bar in suburban St. Paul, the "actors" during "theater night" do little more than sit around, drink, smoke and listen to the earsplitting music.

"They're playing themselves before Oct. 1. You know, before there was a smoking ban," owner Brian Bauman explained. Shaping the words in the air with his hands, like a producer envisioning the marquee, he said: "We call the production, `Before the Ban!"'

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again we see where the government is getting involved in the affairs of private property owners. There is no way that the government should get involved with smoking bans except in PUBLIC areas. If patrons don't want to put up with smoke, they will spend their money some place else. The same with workers. Of course this is also an example of big brother "taking care" of the little people and the little people not having the intestinal fortitude to stand up for what they want and not shop where smoking is allowed. Nor do they have the gumption to tell big government to stay out of the areas of our lives they have no business getting involved with.

3/07/2008 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Bill. Why would sit back and let the government take over people's businesses. I work in a bar and no asked me if the smoke bothered me. Every person at my work is a smoker. I can also tell you that my tips have decreased over 50% since Oct. 1. This law is effect the people it was suppose to help. We can not live on nothing. I have seen our business decend rapidly. Now that the warm weather is here who needs to go out when you can't smoke at the bar, but you can smoke at home. Thanks Minnesota for taking away my childrens FOOD..

5/11/2008 11:20 PM  

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