I swear, at last night's Bloc Party/The Kills show at First Avenue people who don't even normally smoke were lighting up, trying to get a few last puffs in before the various smoking bans waft across the metro area starting today.
Towards midnight, one First Ave staffer was walking around with a pack of Marlboros generously passing out free cigarettes to anyone who wanted to light up one last time in the typically extremely smoky club.
As a former smoker myself, and one who is occasionally known to light up (I smoke when I vacation in Europe, for example--I quit, so I can have one, right?), I do look forward to being able to wear the same jacket or jeans to work the following day after seeing a show in a bar. I'm sure I'm not the only non-smoker to have noticed that if a bar is smoky enough, you can still wake up in the morning with a smoker's hack.
Whatever side of the issue you're on--I'm politically neutral, and somewhat selfishly pro the ban as it will lower the temptation to start smoking regularly again--there ARE a few exceptions to the ban at about 100 bars in St. Paul. Here are a few notable places where you'll still be able to light up:
Minnesota Music Cafe
Mancini's Bar and Char House
Half Time Rec
O'Gara's Bar & Grill
The Dubliner Pub
See a more complete listing here.
But if you want to ring in the smoking ban in style, why not go to the obvious place:
The Pulse Best of Smoke Free Saturday Night Volume 2 CD Release Show at The Dinkytowner Café featuring Valet, Martin Devaney, Cowboy Curtis, Kurmodgeon, Jacob Grun (of Seldomseen.) The CD is free with the price of admission. (5 p.m. $5. All Ages. 412 ½ 14th Ave. SE, Mpls.)
And if you somehow missed the forewarnings of this (probably impossible, but...) here is a link to the Minneapolis City Ordinance with details of how it will be enforced.