Thursday, June 23, 2005

Sometimes a Cigar Bar is No Longer a Cigar Bar

Here's a story from San Diego:

Opponents of the government's power to take private property will bid farewell today to one of their most celebrated San Diego fighters.

Ahmad Mesdaq, owner of the Gran Havana Cigar and Coffee Lounge, waged a spirited and costly legal battle to stop the city from taking his business to make way for a proposed Marriott Renaissance Hotel at Fifth Avenue and J Street.

"I'm really exhausted, and I'm really depressed," he said. "I cannot fight this anymore. I'm burned out."
. . .

With legal bills exceeding $500,000 and seeing few prospects for success in the courts, Mesdaq said he could no longer fight. He has been ordered to vacate the property by Wednesday for demolition.