We've Always Got Paris

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that the Carioca Cafe -- better known as Bar Bar -- finally quit allowing smoking inside the establishment, a year after the ban went into effect. But while that great institution has fallen, Paris on the Platte is still flauting the nanny rules by saying it qualifies for the "cigar bar" loophole, which exempts institutions with more than 5 percent of sales from tobacco.

"For the past twenty years, we've sold import cigarettes and cigars way over 5 percent of our gross sales," owner Jeffrey Maguire told Off Limits last July. "Eventually, I'm sure we'll have to go to court and get an injunction and show that we've met the guidelines of the law. But Denver has not been responsible in getting some way of going out and verifying the sales figure so that you could have a certificate or something that would designate you as a cigar bar."

So far Paris hasn't been challenged, and Maguire had this to add: "My personal feeling is that America and democracy were never meant to have a majority designate to a minority. There are seventeen Starbucks that are non-smoking within a few miles of Paris. People definitely have a choice. The non-smoking advocates are saying we don't want a choice for anyone. But what would life be like if you couldn't make a bad choice?"

How very patriotic -- and just in time for the Fourth of July. -- Amy Haimerl

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