Last weekend, I was up in Chisholm, Minnesota for my Grandfather’s 80th birthday. After the party, we headed downtown Chisholm to check out my step sisters boyfriend play in his band, at Sabin’s bar.
Now, Minnesota passed a smoking ban (Freedom to Breathe Act) in bars and restaurants in October 2007. This means NO SMOKING. Well, they have found some loopholes in the law, that says to some effect “actors and actresses are allowed to smoke while performing, like in a play”. Well, bars are starting to take this loophole and use it, as Sabin’s did that night, and there were many people smoking in the bar.
I happen to see the “Playbill” on the bar, and snapped a photo (which I retyped below as it might be hard to read)
The Tobacco Monologues
Live at Sabin’s Bar!
A Theatrical Performance and Satire Regarding the Minnesota Legislature and the Freedom to Breathe Act
Note: There will be some smoking during the performance.
Friends, tonight YOU get to participate in the first of many amateur theater nights at Sabin’s bar. You will get a chance to perform in our play. The bar is the stage. If you want to be a part of the play tonight see one of the bartenders. They are in charge of the casting call. If you make the cut you will be given a sticker to wear which identifies you as one of the performers. As a performer you will be allowed to smoke. That’s right smoke indoors! You are already on state, and in the play. Have fun!!!
Special thanks to our friends Mark Benjamin & Sheila Kromer
What a joke. First off, I was pissed because there was smoking. I hate smoking, I hate smoking in the bar. I hate coming home smelling like smoke, my clothes, hair and whatever. I hate having to breathe it, and feel like I am about to gag. It is good there is a smoking ban, there is no reason smokers should be able to smoke indoors and pollute the air everyone has to breathe. They can go outside. Plain and simple.
The next day in the Duluth News Tribune, I read a bar in Babbitt MN got cited for doing a Theater Night. Good! But they got fined $300. WTF? They could just collect 2 dollars from every smoker and pay the fine every night. They need to get fined $10,000, or be shut down for a night, to feel the pain.
I am not sure, but I hope Sabin’s gets busted too. Loophole or not. It looks like they are going to start busting more bars for this. Leave your opinions in the comments.
4 replies on “Minnesota Smoking Ban Loophole: Theatrical Performances”
Smoker1: Man i am having a bad nic-fit!
Smoker2: Should we go outside and have a smoke?
Smoker1: No i have a better idea, lets pretend we are thespians!
rotf. HEy at least Minnesota didn’t make all the bars spend tens of thousands on air exchangers and enclosures before banning it outright.
Fear not. These “theater night” performances are fizzling out like a cigarette in a heavy rain. Once the fines come in — and the risk to loose their liquor license — the “performance” ends.
I’m with you 1000%. What a friggen joke!