January 19, 2006

FINALLY, A SPOT IN CHICAGO MORE DISGUSTING THAN LOWER WACKER:

As Smoke Clears, Tobacco Maker Opens Lounge (MONICA DAVEY, 1/19/06, NY Times)

The room is lined with vintage ashtrays, delicate lighters, matches and pens shaped like cigarettes. The scent, naturally, is of smoke.

Chicago's smoking ban took effect this week, but it was hard to know that from inside the gleaming lounge along Milwaukee Avenue in a hip neighborhood on the North Side. Here, under glass, are thick jars of tobacco - Oriental Rose, The Empress, The Earl - poured lovingly into white smoking papers by tobacco's answer to the coffee shop barista.

At the very moment smokers around Chicago were learning not to light up on train platforms, in sports stadiums and in some restaurants, a subsidiary of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was preparing for the grand opening on Thursday of its answer to the smoke-free set: the Marshall McGearty Tobacco Lounge, what its creators intend to be the nation's first upscale, luxury lounge dedicated to the smoking of cigarettes, especially a new R. J. Reynolds variety.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 19, 2006 2:06 PM
Comments

Things have changed since The Blues Brothers movie, OJ. Wacker has been completely rebuilt at some astronomical amount of money.

A more apt comparison these days would be City Hall. See latest stories on another City Clerk indictment.

Posted by: Rick T. at January 19, 2006 2:53 PM

I want the contract to replace the air conditioning filters in this place.

Posted by: John at January 19, 2006 3:18 PM

It sure sounds disgusting:

"Across the room, Bob Kittrell, 45, sat smoking.

"This is my place now," said Mr. Kittrell, who lives nearby. "It's the only place around that I can drink coffee and read the papers and smoke my cigarettes anymore."

What depravity. Here's a tip: don't come in. No one will even notice you're not there.

It's a great idea, even though RJR's premium tobaccos don't measure up to brands like Stokkebye, D&R, and others.

Posted by: Carter at January 19, 2006 4:47 PM

Carter:

Exactly.

Posted by: oj at January 19, 2006 4:50 PM

As a pulmonary doctor, while John gets the A/C contract, I'm going to set up a lung clinic next door -- "free inhalers!" "free chemotherapy!".

Either I'll do really well, or both establishments will close.

By the way, I live in Chicago, and OJ, if you really want depravity, just become a City Hall reporter.

Posted by: Steve White at January 19, 2006 6:07 PM

Just think. What if they're screwing up their grandchildren's DNA?

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 19, 2006 7:44 PM

Back in the days when I was a regular smoker, I would smoke outside even when I was at home. I got sick of my house smelling like the back room at a political convention and nicotine stains the walls like you wouldn't believe.
I don't envy the person who rents that smoking bar after it goes out of business.

Posted by: Bryan at January 20, 2006 7:36 AM
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