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Follow-up: Bull & Bear vs. the Whiners, Part II

When about 19 out of 20 cigar news stories are about new “dangers” of secondhand smoke, overly-PC politicians, citywide bans, tax hikes, the FDA, and the demise of B&Ms, it’s refreshing to come across a story about someone on our side winning for once. According to an article on, a Kane County judge ruled that the Bull and Bear tobacco shop in St. Charles, IL can still allow smoking in their shop, despite a letter from Shodeen Management, the shop’s landlords, ordering them to vacate the premises.

Several months ago, lawyers for Shodeen Management tried to evict the shop, citing complaints from nearby business owners who smelled “puffs of tobacco smoke.” However, according to the store’s lease and according to an Illinois state law that states that all businesses who earn at least 80 percent of their income from the sale of tobacco products to allow smoking indoors, the shop can continue to allow smoking.

“We are pleased to continue to be able to serve our customers like we have been for the last 16 years,” said Harmon, who took extensive steps to prevent the smell of smoke from permeating nearby shops prior to receiving the eviction notice, including installing several fans and an air filtration system.

According to an earlier article, Bull and Bear’s lease ends in 2014, so depending on whether Shodeen gives them the option to renew, they may have to find a new space anyway. But the fact that they won this battle assures me, at least, that matters of personal opinion don’t give you the grounds to prematurely kick out otherwise cooperative tenants, at least in Kane County, IL. Let’s hope this is the first of many such victories, and since I’m always on the prowl for good news, I’ll make sure to post them as I find them.