Hidden Cam: Bar Ignores Smoking Ban
May 24, 2010
Redford Bar Ignores New Michigan Smoking Ban
REDFORD, Mich. -- A Local 4 Defenders hidden camera investigation finds out that a Redford sports bar is not only ignoring the new Michigan smoking ban, but also encouraging customers to puff away.
The Defenders were tipped off that Long Shots Bar in Redford, a popular hangout for sports fans and smokers, has not been complying with new law that limits smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants.
The law went into effect May 1.
When a Defenders producer went into the bar with a hidden camera, it showed a customer lighting up a cigarette, and nobody stopped him. Then, a waitress, with a cigarette in her hand, took the producer's order.
When the producer asked the waitress if smoking was OK, she said, "It's OK for now – until we get caught."
"We really don’t have anyone to enforce it, so whatever," the waitress said.
The waitress goes on to tell the producer to keep the illegal activity quiet.
"If you want to keep it going, then you better shut your mouth," she said.
She did acknowledge that she thought the bar was going to be busted soon.
"It will happen eventually. Word of mouth is spreading pretty quick that we are not enforcing it here," she said.
When the Defenders returned two days later, the smoke again filled the room.
Long Shots manager Francheska Bargo said she would only speak to Local 4 Defenders outside the bar.
She told Local 4's Karen Drew that the bar does not condone smoking. She also denied that ashtrays were placed at each table in the bar.
During the two separate visits, Local 4 hidden cameras filmed several ashtrays inside the bar.
Bargo goes back into the bar, where another Defenders producer continues to roll the hidden camera. This time, the restaurant managers devised a new plan for the ashtrays.
"We have ashtrays hidden. That red cup has water in it. Just put it in the (expletive) cup," an employee is overheard saying.
A waitress told the Local 4 producer that the Health Department couldn't do anything about it, because they have to be caught in the act.
Local 4 took the undercover tape to Carol Austerberry, acting director for the Wayne County's Environmental Health Unit.
"I am very glad this has been brought to our attention. Having the video is even more helpful in our investigation," said Austerberry.
So far, the Wayne County Health Department has had 46 complaints of restaurants not enforcing the smoking ban.
To report a complaint to the state, click here.