I've been taking advantage of my mini-vacation this week to do some things that I've never gotten around to doing. I FINALLY got to check out the Common Grounds Coffee Bar tonight. I thought this place was in Cleveland's Ohio City district, but it was actually way out by airport, at the intersection of Lorain and Rocky River. They are open 24-7-365! How cool is that? The place is small, but it could be made to work for a poetry show. Cash only, no credit cards accepted, but that can be dealt with. There was a Wallgreens across the street for access to quick cash. The reason I walked out without getting anything and didn't come back? It was 12:30 AM and the place was full of kids. Not a problem. Many of these kids were likely minors, out violating Ohio's curfew laws. Okay, still not a problem to me, though I would be worried about the cops (who were out in massive force on Cleveland's east side tonight) coming in to hassle them. The big problem? Damned near every one of these kids is smoking. The place is full of smoke. You can see it in the air, it is seeping out the doors. To my knowledge, Common Grounds is NOT a hookah bar.
Yes, I voted for the smoking ban here in Ohio, and yes, I'd vote for it again. The many bars that closed, claiming it hurt their business? News flash: It was the economy, stupid. Smokers are the minority, and now the rest of us can patronize bars and cafes that we would have previously avoided due to smoke. If your establishment ignores the law and allows indoor smoking, you will not receive my business. Period. I will walk out and go someplace else.
(For the record, though, I have no issue whatsoever with bars and restaurants that built enclosed patios for smokers.)
Common Grounds can be scratched off the list of places I'd consider setting up a show at. For that matter, scratch them off the list of places that I'll attend someone else's show at. So disappointing.