Smoking in L.A.?
February 23, 2011 11:55 PM   Subscribe

Is the show Californication's representation of smoking in a bar in Los Angeles complete fabrication or are there still some bars in L.A. that have grandfather clauses?

I ask because in the latest season there are scenes of Hank Moody smoking in a slightly old-fashioned style bar, which is supposedly his haunt. I don't know the name of the bar or if it really exists, but I just thought I'd ask in general about L.A. to get a sense if the show is trying to represent something completely fake or if it actually exists.

Thanks!
posted by fantasticninety to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I know of one bar, Tiki Ti on Sunset in Silver Lake, that allows smoking. The story goes that since it's family owned and operated that it's allowed.
posted by hwyengr at 11:58 PM on February 23, 2011


Yelp says yes, we still have smoking-allowed bars. Tiki Ti is on there, La Descarga, some others.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:18 AM on February 24, 2011


As much as I love the anti-smoking laws as a patron, those laws aren't actually written for my benefit, they are for the safety of the employees. According to the California Workplace Smoking Restrictions:

Any employer with five or fewer employees (full or part-time) may permit smoking where:

- The smoking area is not accessible to minors.
- All employees who enter the smoking area consent to permit smoking, and no one is required as part of their job to work in an area where smoking is permitted.
- Air from the smoking area is exhausted directly outside.


So yes, there are definitely some bars that can still allow smoking indoors as long as they fall within those guidelines.
posted by platinum at 12:41 AM on February 24, 2011


I can't speak for LA, but the ban is statewide, but with a number of exceptions. I know of several San Francisco bars that allow smoking, for instance–though I’ve never been clear about whether it’s a “look the other way” scenario or, say, due to the five-or-fewer employees exemption.
posted by rafter at 12:45 AM on February 24, 2011


The number of Cali bars that "look the other way" is dropping. A couple of years ago there were three near my house. Down to one now. But yeah, no doubt there are bars in LA, a huge city, that allow smoking.
posted by telstar at 1:27 AM on February 24, 2011


Yeah it has gotten less common, but it happens. As above, there are places like the Tikki Ti where it is actually legal.

And then there are places that just don't care. A few years ago there was an article in the L.A. Times about how there were literally only two people in the whole of L.A. County whose job it was to enforce smoking violations in bars and restaurants. I don't know if that has changed, but a lot of people were willing to flaunt those odds back then.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:38 AM on February 24, 2011


That's interesting I would assume in Chicago there would be some "look the other way" bars as well. None to my knowledge.
posted by patrad at 8:30 AM on February 24, 2011


Yeah, here in New York there is no tradition of "look the other way", either. I'm sure there's a bar here or there, out in the outer boroughs somewhere. But I haven't seen anyone smoking in any bar (including dives) in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or western Queens in years.
posted by Sara C. at 9:03 AM on February 24, 2011


The bars in K-Town were very lenient about smoking when I last lived in LA about 7 years ago.
posted by cazoo at 9:04 AM on February 24, 2011


I've definitely been to "look the other way bars" in LA. I've seen one that posts signs warning patrons that they smoke at their own (legal) risk. I'm not sure if that's true.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:08 AM on February 24, 2011


I know of several San Francisco bars that allow smoking, for instance–though I’ve never been clear about whether it’s a “look the other way” scenario or, say, due to the five-or-fewer employees exemption.

I've been told the loophole is that owner-operator bars can allow smoking. So what some places do is issue all their employees a $1 share in the business and now they are owners who can consent to allow smoking.
posted by bradbane at 10:40 AM on February 24, 2011


Thanks for the answers. Much obliged.
posted by fantasticninety at 12:07 PM on February 24, 2011


Not to mention, Hank Moody is the kind of asshole who would light up regardless of a ban. He'd wait for someone to tell him to put it out and then either oblige or leave.
posted by wherever, whatever at 10:02 PM on February 24, 2011


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