Friday, November 04, 2005

What don't they understand about "cosmopolitan"?

Posted by Craig Westover | 2:01 PM |  

Note Jackie Cherryhomes’ comments about Escape Ultra Lounge made in Doug Grow’s column lamenting the addition of Hooters to Block E --
"Hooters wasn't part of the vision," admitted Jackie Cherryhomes, former president of the City Council and a person who pushed for the development. "I agree with what [Council Member] Lisa Goodman says about it. It's tacky. The vision was more like Bellanotte [a successful nightclub in the project]. Or a club like Escape [also in the development]. There's an energy in these places. They're cosmopolitan."
Escape Vice President Charles Gilbert was one of many bar and club owners that sat down to be interviewed for the “Devil’s Weed” documentary on the impact of the smoking ban in Minneapolis and the tend toward smoking bans across the country.

Gilbert did not talk about “energy” and being “cosmopolitan.”

He talked about a decline of 40-45 percent in business since the smoking ban went into effect. How “big” nights dropped from 900 people to less than 600. He talked about how the club was not just losing its smoking customers, but the friends of smoking customers. He talked how a prime upper floor location over-looking the city becomes a liability when people are forced to go outside to smoke -- especially in a cold climate city.

He talked about laying off nearly 30 people. He talked about the Catch-22 of not having funds to advertise. He wondered where all the promised non-smoking customers were. He noted that “no dominos fell” and surrounding communities that didn’t follow the Minneapolis lead are garnering all the business from smokers (and their friends).

As for the Minneapolis City Council? Well it seems they don’t give two hoots for Gilbert’s problems.

Category: Public Health, Smoking Ban