Neighbors Lounge

Neighbors Lounge in Independence is a bar I've never heard of and most likely will never visit. Nothing against Neighbors Lounge, but I don't think I've even been inside the Independence city limits in my time in KC. I only write of Neighbors Lounge because they got caught violating the KC smoking ordinance.

Long time readers of this blog or my Twitter followers probably know that I'm completely against smoking bans and prefer individual responsibility. If you don't want to smell like smoke, don't go near smoke. But that's neither here nor there. This is my mea culpa for my thought that the first bar to get caught violating the ordinance would be caught because city officials, be it police, health department, ABC, whatever, wanted that business closed or because they somehow competed too well with a cash cow like a casino (where smoking is still allowed). I don't think I ever wrote about this feeling or told anyone about this feeling but I know that I had that feeling.

Neighbors Lounge got shut down, quite simply, because they never stopped allowing people to smoke inside the bar. I did a quick Google search and found a review from New Year's Day this year (I know that these could be lies written by disgruntled losers who had a bone to pick with a nothing bar in a nowhere part of town, but since they're written in complete sentences, I tend to believe them a little)
they have the buzzer on the front door in order to allow their customers to smoke. We heard the old lady who owns the bar announce to bar customers that they could smoke as long as they were willing to pay the fine. She herself was smoking the night we were there.
I also found a comment from a 3 year old post of Blog KC that said bluntly "Neighbors Lounge on 40 highway is allowing smoking and is collecting money to pay the fines." I also found a post on some sort of smoker's message board where the Neighbors Lounge owner, Patty Holler, expresses concerns about the smoking ordinance.
Patty Holler, owner of nearby Neighbors Lounge in Kansas City, said she's getting customers who used to go to RG's and other bars. She said she has sympathy for Houser.

"You hate to see this going on right across the street," Holler said. "We're scared here, if this passes on April 8."
So I'm a little disappointed in Ms. Holler for her performance on the KCTV5 news this evening where she should have owned up to knowingly not enforcing the smoking ban. If she believes the law to be unjust, more power to her for snubbing her nose at the law. But she only hurts that case when she complains about the penalty being unfair and proclaiming some form of innocence. I'd like to see her put up a sign behind her bar that shows the Thomas Jefferson quote "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." I'm not saying she should, just that I'd rather see that than the 'aw shucks, we tried to enforce it' display she put on on the news.

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