Cigar bar owner has plan to get liquor in the door legally.
Dan Hoffman thinks he's found a way to bring liquor into Fort Wayne's first cigar bar, after all - some of the time.
Two weeks after discovering that his original plan to allow members to store their own liquor in lockers had been disallowed by Indiana Excise Police, the Esquire Cigar Club owner said Wednesday he plans to host several catered parties per year featuring a cash bar.
Since the money will go to a licensed caterer, not to the club, the parties will not violate the Fort Wayne ordinance that prohibits smoking in most public places - including bars.
"Am I frustrated? Yeah. But I want to do this the right way, and I'm going to make the best of it. I'm not going anywhere," said Hoffman, who spent about $300,000 renovating the 120-year-old Wayne Township No. 2 School at 1036 S. Thomas Road.
Hoffman plans to host two parties per month for members - the first within three weeks or so - that will also feature free food and cigars. Cigar manufacturers are subsidizing the parties, he said, because they want the club to succeed. Hoffman also wants to host quarterly wine parties for women. The club has 12 members so far.
Excise Police Lt. John Folk said catered parties could be permissible, "But we've had no request into our office yet."
Although Hoffman said he is committed to obeying the city's no-smoking law - his club is exempt because at least 60 percent of its revenue comes from tobacco sales - he said government should promote, not hinder, businesses like his.
"I believe with all my heart this is a good thing,"
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Source: News Sentinel