County won't excuse Perkins bar's smoking violations

The owner of Excuses Lounge in Perkins Township knew the health department was unhappy with him, but he says he didn't know until last week he was facing more than $21,000 in fines for smoking violations.
Tom Jackson
Sep 23, 2011

The owner of Excuses Lounge in Perkins Township knew the health department was unhappy with him, but he says he didn’t know until last week he was facing more than $21,000 in fines for smoking violations.

Terry Smith, 54, a veteran in the bar business, says he’s worried that if the state of Ohio goes through with threats to take away his liquor license, he’ll lose his livelihood.

But he’s also angry at the health department because he believes he’s been singled out for enforcement.

“I’m going to lose my car, lose my home, everything,” he said.

The Erie County Health Department’s figures show bars in the county owe $31,400 in unpaid fines for smoking violations. Excuses Lounge accounts for $21,500 of that.

Smith believes the county health department is specifically targeting his establishment, but health commissioner Pete Schade said his workers only investigate violations after receiving complaints.

Pick up Friday's Register to read more about Smith's predicament and how the state is planning to revoke liquor licenses from bars that don't pay their fines.



It seems more than a little suspect that with all the bars in Erie County that two thirds of the fine money is at one bar.  It's also odd that the fine money only covers a couple of bars when many bars allow indoor smoking.


He shouldn't have broken the law


 I have been in Excuses quite a few times, and the smoking was terrible. But I also know that The Pump is a huge offender, so I wonder how much they owe?


It's really simple, don't allow smoking in your bar.  No, Smith can't be there every minute of every day.  But guess what ?  His paid employees are.  Refuse to serve anyone who smokes.  See, simple and easy.  Maybe it's because he thinks he is above the law that this sitiation even is happening. Takes 10 steps to walk outside and smoke.  Huge covered porch area in front of bar.  No reason for the smoking in bar.  I was personally there last nite from 9pm till 1030pm...5 out of 10 patrons there were smoking.  

6079 Smith W

The little pencil-necked, do-gooder, bureaucratic political ruling class officials of the nanny state won't be satisfied until they control every single solitary aspect of the lives of every American.

The guy who put up the capital should call the shots whether an establishment should be smoking or non-smoking not the @#$% fascistic state.

I don’t smoke myself, but if it’s so @#$% bad why doesn’t the state and the country outlaw tobacco and its use?

Because the bureaucrats earn too much money off the tax revenue - @#$% hypocrites!




Funny how the right wing wacko's say the the govt.  is putting too many restrictions on business and infringing their rights but are behind the smoking ban telling business what they can and can't do !!!

This country is getting pitiful !!!


It is only 10 steps to walk out to smoke, but... if they allow it people will do it. I live close to there, and I walk up there from time to time...  I think smokers go there knowing that they allow smoking, so it doesn't suprise me that 5 out of 10 were smoking. I guess if you know it's a bar that allows smoking and you aren't a smoker (or it bothers you) then.. don't go until they stop it from happening. I was at Cleveland stadium for the game two Sundays ago, and there were people smoking in the bathrooms there. There were burn marks on the toilet seats... the more places they take away for smokers to smoke, the more you're going to see the laws broken.


First start would be to bring in some good looking eye candy bar tenders like they used to have.  This place has gone downhill fast!




This guy thinks he's above the law. Look at the budweiser banner on the building, he knows it's a violation of Perkins zoning laws to have banners displayed outside BUT HE STILL DOES IT!


Their business has tanked since he started to allow smoking inside this place.  There is never anyone there.  I know dozens of people that do not go there any longer because of the smoking. 


He can use the windfall profits from all the smokers who have flocked to his bar to pay the fines.

Remember the theme song from the old tv show "Baretta".....  Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time.... Don't do it !

It's great our restaurants and law abiding bars don't stink now.



Can they go after the owner of the building also?


I just read last week in the Register that there was a huge cat fight there last weekend.  What a classy joint!  Real good for business!




There is hereby created in the state treasury the smoke free indoor air fund. All fines collected pursuant to this chapter and any grant, contribution, or other moneys received by the department of health for the purposes of this chapter shall be credited to the smoke free indoor air fund and used solely for the purposes of this chapter.

Is all of the money collected going to this fund or is somebody taking it for other purposes? Remember that lawsuit against the tobacco companies and how that money was supposed to have been used?

I cannot find any information on this "smoke free indoor air fund" on how much was collected and how it was spent. Where is the public information on this fund? Does it really exist? If so, where? Anybody know?

Why should this place be the GOAT, you do nothing about the other businesses.     AMVETS     KOMANS     ATHLETIC CLUB     SAIL INN     HUNTERS     That's to name a few. What you going to do about them. Sounds like discriminations to me. Let this place go to,or bust them all.   Again our lazy a$$ health officals Sandusky included need to be fired.

You know the rules.  Don't let people smoke and you wouldn't be in this situation.


They warned him, "don't let 'em smoke"
But he thought that the law was a joke.
It proved to be true,
and now the fine's due.
No more Excuses, he's broke.


Captain Gutz

Haiku becomes a
limerick now, how very
ugly  it is

say no to big gov.

Good for you Terry!! This is your bar. dont let these people tell you how to run it...if you dont like the smoke dont go to a bar that allows it!!! its as simple as that...and if it was my bar i would walk into the health department (while smoking a cig) and throw those tickets in their face...BIG GONVERMENT IS KILLING THIS COUNTRY!!!


Just makes sense, you're not making much sense today.  Maybe no one has complained at these other establishments.  For whaterver reason, complaints have been files at Excuses.


The old Smity's Bar just changes their name with the exact same results in the same location.  It is perfectly clear Mr. Smith, "a veteran in the bar business," KNOWS what the law is and simply ignores it.  If YOU want to stand on a soapbox and proclaim how obstinate and special YOU are, then be my guest!  But, do NOT start bellyaching when all those fines add up and it is time to PAY!  I am sure the REASON the health department keeps stopping by Excuses is because they CONTINUE to stay in violation.  And WHO keeps calling the health department?  Here is a tip.  Everytime they are found to be in violation, the health department inspectors issue a written CITATION.  If YOU want to keep throwing them in the trash for instant comedy and obstinance, then HOW do YOU have any validity to complain?  It is exactly like YOU earning a plethora of traffic tickets, throwing them in the trash and ignoring ALL of them in defiance.  Guess what is going to happen?  A bench warrant gets issued and YOU go to JAIL!  It is always the BLAME of something.  "I am going to lose my livelihood, home, car, everything."  Boo, hoo, hoo!  Ha! Ha!  WHO is the one responsible for losing everything??  It is NOW sensational because Mr. Smith decided with rational choice to allow all those citations to add up.  NOW it is terrible.  NOW it is time to demonize the health department.  This is NOT about government against the little guy.  This is about the little guy being a total moron thinking he is SPECIAL, ENTITLED and DESERVING and the "savior" to fight this law all by himself!  ALL those written citations have added up.  If YOU feel sorry for him, then YOU help pay his TAB, allow him to avoid any responsibility and continue to break the LAW.  Come on, make yourselves "FEEL GOOD" and YOU pay.  Why not start your own "tavern" without a liquor license.  If YOU want to fight the law then go ahead and wager how long before YOU end up in jail and all your assets seized.  Then YOU can have a story printed about how YOU are being "picked on" by the evil government.  I guess ALL the other "watering holes" are slowly and regrettably in compliance, all but ONE!  This is now a story about liberal excuses at the "Excuses" Tavern.  The name is quite befitting.  Ha! Ha!             



Not exactly true;
cigarettes are killing us -
just fewer of us


 Ya know as a liscenced driver I am responsible for knowing the rules of the road if I drive.  So be it for his business.  Looks like you better start finding a new means of supporting yourself bysides the bar business.  


Hey Check it out, The government extorting people for cash and threatening to take away thier livelyhoods. Awesome country we live in where if you run a business you cannot bend to the consumers will, You have to bend to the will of beuracrats hundreds of miles away. This is freedom folks, People with entirly too much time on their hands deciding whats best for you. Sure smoking is illegal in bars, But do people that actually worry about their health actually go to this bar anyways? Or any bar for theat matter in sandusky, Sure you will leave the bar with clean lungs only to get cracked in the head with a bat on the way to your car. Pure money thats all the government is anymore extortionist that are no better than the mafia wanting "protection" money so your store doesnt get shut down.


It's really quite simple, he broke the law and now must pay the consequences.  


Perhaps Terry is being singled out ~ perhaps he's simply an  easy target due to his location.  Perhaps there is a reason the Pump doesn;t get busted as much.  Who knows?  In the end, Terry knows the rules.  As for the bartenders enforcing as I say not as I do?  They smoke just as well.

My biggest issue with this ~ what does this have to do with the Veterans and the home?  Don't play that card!  The NON-veteran smokers in that establishment FAR FAR FAR outweigh those that are Veterans from the home.  Shame on someone for that one!!!


Origen this isn't the will of beaurocrats, its the will of the people.  We voted on this, remember?

real talk

 very simple shut them down until they pay, I bet they figure out how to get it paid then

They are committing a crime, shut them down