Want to Skirt Smoking Laws in Germany? Join the Club

Bars go exclusive to avoid ban
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2008 11:44 AM CDT
Mike Petersen smokes while sitting at a counter of the Roosevelt Classic Smoking Bar in Munich, southern Germany, on Wednesday, June 11, 2008.    (AP Photo/Christof Stache)
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(Newser) – Smoking in a bar is verboten in much of Germany, so many watering holes have decided they’re not “bars” anymore—they’re private clubs where members are free to light up. The dodge appalls anti-smoking groups, but one club owner says cigarettes are essential to his business. “I wanted to offer three things: smoking, drinks and good music,” he said. “Without one, it doesn't work.”