This study was entirely flawed, and biased, however. It lumps Hennepin and
Ramsey Counties together, does not distinguish between food and alcohol
sales, nor does it distinguish between bar and liquor store sales.

Liquor stores have seen an increase in business since the smoking bans went
into effect, while Minneapolis bars report losses, and many have closed. St.
Paul bars which have exemptions have enjoyed *huge increases* in their
sales, while Minneapolis bars and other St. Paul establishments without
exemptions are going under. St. Paul has shuffled the money around
benefiting some bars to the detriment of others, and Minneapolis has
exported it's revenue to St. Paul. This doesn't matter to the state, which
gets it's cut of the money whether it's spent in St. Paul, or Minneapolis.

Were the much championed cause of a state-wide ban to emerge victorious, St.
Paul would lose it's edge, and liquor stores would likely benefit, as
smokers would largely stay home. Revenues to the state would then drop (and
a new tax imposed on bottles purchased at liquor stores would be

The reported number of metro liquor-serving establishments which have closed
since March 31st is a flat lie.

Dan O'Gara's quote in the article is one of the most significant statements:
"The blue-collar, working man's bar, which is a big thing in the Twin
Cities, is probably going to be a thing of the past if this continues."

The smoking ban is one more front in the assault on the middle class in the
urban core.

Dan McGrath

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