I wrote a piece for the forthcoming issue on the forthcoming smoking ban, which goes into effect January 1. I had to share this last minute addition to the piece—which is a Q&A addressing all of your smoking ban questions.
How the hell is the Horse Brass going to get the nicotine off of their walls? Will they have to rent a power washer?
"I'm going to make no effort," says Horse Brass owner Don Younger, who's headed up the smoky neighborhood icon for 32 years. He says the state will have to "pass another law" to make him change the carpets or clean the smoke-stained walls.
"The whole dynamic of the place is going to change," he says. "The heart and soul is being removed, surgically. The State of Oregon runs my business now."
How do cigarettes make up the heart and soul of a beer pub? "Not for me, for my customers," Younger explains. "The two just go together, and we're a smoking bar. There's a real sense of community in my bar. It's built around the smokers. The community, which has been there for 32 years, will disappear overnight." He's not concerned they'll go out of business—though he thinks other businesses will—but says that in every place that has enacted a smoking ban, "the corner bar has lost their personality. The casuality is always the corner bar."
That said, he has no plans to protest the law. "It's useless," he says. The state is "smarter than we are. They're bigger than us."
Check out the whole piece in Thursday's paper. And go smoke at the Horse Brass while you still can.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!