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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

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Readers Blog

Exception to the smoking ban

I own a Cigar lounge in Wisconsin with a smoking exception for cigars only. I was told by the DOJ office that my business can be sold or moved to a new location within the State of Wisconsin. With the 2010 smoking ban, it is my understanding that no new cigar bar or merchant opening after June 2009 will have this legal exception to allow smoking in a cigar lounge and/or retail store.  Only existing cigar stores and cigar lounges (holding a class B license with 15% cigar sales) opened before this date will have the legal smoking exception.  I opened Bogart's Cigars & Fine Spirits, LLC in July of 2008 and currently have cigar sales that exceed 15% of our gross sales and hold a class B liquor license (all requirements for the cigar smoking exception).  I am preparing to sell or move the business and would like any input from cigar smokers regarding possible locations or options. Where in Milwaukee would a cigar bar be successful?  Comments and suggestions are appreciated. The business is currently located in a town of 25,000 which limits its growth potential. I think either Milwaukee or Madison would be good markets for a cigar lounge.

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