Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Smoking Ban

In this cold weather, we can only dream about spring, and in spring cometh the smoking ban! If you've lived in a city with a smoking ban, it's heavenly. It's bliss. It's bad for the dry cleaning business because your clothes don't smell so awful every time you come home from a bar. But I digress. Marion County's smoking ban goes into effect March 1, 2006. Unfortunately, the the ban doesn't cover bars exclusively serving patrons 21 and over. (I'm not sure I understand how cocktail waitresses and bartenders are supposed to look at this since the smoking ban is a workplace hazard issue. Do they not deserve the same treatment as a waiter from Applebee's?)Once you go smokeless in your favorite bar, you never go back. And as many cities have seen, business actually increases when all the bars and restaurants are smoke free. In San Francisco, it certainly didn't cause the mass closures as feared. The Curmudgeon covers this very topic this week from a Carmel perspective.

At last word MacNiven's on Mass Ave will change to 21-and-over only in March to avoid the smoking ban. They're too worried they'll lose their Mass Ave customers. Sadly, I wish they'd show a little courage and continue to court their business and professional patrons by banning smoking altogether. By changing to a bar format, they may lose their business customers. It's one of my favorite business lunch spots, but I may have to change. I can't take client meetings (or out of town guest meetings) in a bar.

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