Non-smoking bar opens in Kuujjuaq

Fume-free drinking


KUUJJUAQ — A bar, with no smoking?

That may seem like contradiction in terms, but the new section of the Ikkaqivvik Bar in Kuujjuaq is just that: smokeless.

“I’ve never heard of a non-smoking bar,” said Tony Avramtchev, manager of the Kuujjuaq Inn and bar. “It would be kind of gutsy down south.”

The new $1.2-million bar offers Kuujjuamiut who don’t smoke a place to hang out and provides those who do with a healthy alternative to the smoky atmosphere of the regular bar.

“Get used to it,” Avramtchev said. “If you want to smoke, you’ll have to go to the other side.”

Last weekend the smoke-free bar opened with an evening of live music by the Montreal-based band, the Prisoners.

This opening had been delayed over a year due to problems in obtaining a liquor license.

To obtain a license for the new space, the bar, owned by the Nayumivik Landholding Corporation, first had to produce and follow a plan that would preserve the social peace and prevent laws from being broken in and around the bar.

The plan’s rules and regulations, which came into force on Jan. 15, were intended to reduce overdrinking and rowdiness.

Avramtchev said since then the number of incidents has fallen to “zero.” He said video cameras, installed inside and out, are among the measures that seem to help keep the peace.

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