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Posted at 5:19 PM ET, 01/26/2006

Black Cat Goes Smoke-Free (Twice)

By Fritz Hahn

Want to take a peek into the future, all the way to the year ... 2007? You'll have the chance on Saturday evening, as the Black Cat's main performance area goes smoke-free for the show featuring spiky-but-sweet San Francisco experimental rockers Deerhoof. The decision was made at the request of the band, which has played smoke-free shows on many of its most recent tours. It also marks the first smoke-free show at the Black Cat since last May's performance by the Wedding Present (who will be back -- again smoke-free -- in March).

Black Cat owner Dante Ferrando told Fritz on WAMU's "Metro Connection" radio show a couple of weeks ago that his main concern when the smoking ban goes into effect will be how the club handles lots of patrons simultaneously heading outside for a smoke between sets. Since the Red Room will still be smoker friendly on Saturday, it's not a perfect test case, as we suspect that there are plenty of folks who would be willing to brave an overly crowded bar for a cigarette, as opposed to the true die-hards who would head outside into the blustery cold of a January evening. But since this will likely be a sold out show -- or at least very close -- it will still be a good opportunity to see just how many people we can expect to put themselves into a somewhat uncomfortable situation to get that nicotine fix.

-- David

By Fritz Hahn  | January 26, 2006; 5:19 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Music  
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PEEK! Take a peek, not a peak!

Posted by: polly | January 26, 2006 10:07 PM | Report abuse

No, I meant to do that, it was an analogy about mountains.

Thanks for being a spelling guru, Polly.

Posted by: david | January 26, 2006 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping someone can help me out... I'm looking for the phone number to a new Indian restaurant in Penn Quarter called Kasika. I haven't been able to find the number anywhere online or through directory assistance!
Thanks for your help.

Posted by: Amanda | January 27, 2006 11:35 AM | Report abuse

that's because it's called Rasika with an R.

Posted by: A. | January 27, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The 8x10 club in Baltimore was smoke-free on Saturday night. I have to say, it was great to hit the pillow on Sat. night without reaking of smoke.

I'm thinking--if clubs advertised smoke free nights it might actually be a draw.

One more thing--the narrow sidewalk outside the 8x10 was not crammed w/ smokers heading out and concert goers heading in.

Posted by: Steve in Baltimore | January 30, 2006 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone go to the Black Cat on Saturday? Care to report about how the smoke-free night went? I can't imagine it was a big deal at all, but I'd like to hear from someone who was there...

Posted by: r | January 31, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I went, not expecting for the change to make a big impact, but the atmosphere was very different. All the smokers (myself included) went downstairs, rather than outside, so the Red Room was so crowded and full of smoke that it was difficult to breathe. Honestly, it was worse than those tiny smoke-filled compartments that airports provide for smokers. And upstairs? Well, the clean air was nice, but the whole thing just felt...square. Maybe it was the hippie love fest vibe of the openers (one group asked everyone to sit down, and when the quiet, well-behaved, Gap-clad audience complied, my friend observed that the BC suddenly felt like a kindergarten classroom), but it seemed like all the usual bohemian weirdos were camped out downstairs, which was a louder, crazier, and more fun scene, despite the smoke.

Posted by: ndaly | January 31, 2006 6:14 PM | Report abuse

You mean like the back of a volkswagon?

Posted by: noner | February 7, 2006 5:34 PM | Report abuse

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