There is only one cigar bar in Washington, a state of more than 6 million people. It re-opened recently at El Gaucho in Tacoma years after the state’s extremely strict smoking ban shut it down. The renovations necessary to comply with the law cost $15,000:
“The Washington state law on tobacco is the toughest one in the U.S.,” [owner Paul MacKay] said.
He’s had to jump through a lot of smoke rings to meet code. MacKay created a 25-foot long glassed off airlock walkway separating the restaurant from the VIP lounge. To stay within guidelines, the lounge is operated by owners of a newly created company — not employees and it isn’t open to the public.
“You can’t just come in, you have to be invited,” MacKay said.
That’s not enough for the Health Department. They’ve already served him papers telling him he needs to shut down again.
[Via the Stogie Guys.]