One of the most pleasant diversions the Twin Cities offer in the summer is a night out on the back patio at Keegans in the summer, playing trivia and torching up the odd cigar.
Y’see, while Minneapolis and then Minnesota banned smoking in bars, establishments that had outdoor space were able to have smoking patios – sort of like those miserable outside-the-office smoking areas, only with tables and chairsand waitresses and booze.
And when Minneapolis sees opportunities for the people to have fun that is not strictly regulated, it gets jealous.
According to Terry Keegan, the Met Council is driving the various city agencies to try to consider cigar patios as expansions to the bar, meaning they’d get charged full square-footage fees.
It’s an absurd interpretation, of course; the cigar patios are where people inside the bar go to grab a cigar and sit. This is a baldfaced attempt to squeeze money out of bar owners, themselves caught in a double-whammy of tough economic times and times that were already straitened by Minnesota’s smoking ban, as well as continue the DFL’s attempt to regulate behavior.
So what is it going to take to get people to storm the barricades (rhetorically speaking, at least)?