Ever since pot became legal at the stroke of midnight Dec. 6, a joint-toting parade of cannabis lovers have been pouring into Frankie's Sports Bar & Grill in Olympia, and lighting up like there's no tomorrow. This has made owner Frank Schnarr as happy as a hungry stoner with a bag full of brownies.
Business, you see, has been a bit on the slow side at Frankie's, and the 62-year-old Frank Schnaar, who has owned the greasy spoon since 1990, has figured out to a way to make hay out of grass.
"I gotta to do what I gotta do," he tells The Daily Weekly.
And what Schnarr has done is put out the welcome mat in what he calls the "Friends of Frankie" room, a private smoke-choked place just down the way from the downstairs bar. Here, cigarette (and now dope) smokers pay an annual $10 fee to use.
Scharr claims to have 10,000 members, with nearly 80 joining since he announced that he was adding marijuana to the list of smoking choices."
"I've been defying the smoking ban for at least five years, so now I'm going to see what I can do with legalized marijuana," says Schnarr. "I'm getting all kinds of people in there lately: white collar, construction workers, government officials"
Gov. Chis Gregoire?
"She wouldn't get within a mile of this place."
Although Schnarr won his battle with state regulators to give smoking customers a room of their own, toking a joint at Frankie's will likely test the state's expanded limits on recreational marijuana use.
""Marijuana remains illegal under federal law," Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, told Reuters. "I can't tell you whether what he's doing is legal or not."
Said Tom Morrill, Olympia's city attorney: "We're looking into it. There are a lot of changes in state law right now. That's all I can say."
Meanwhile, Schnarr is up with a new readers board, which states: "Come support the state's new revenue. Rec on the 2nd Floor. Members of Friends of Frankie's."