For the first few weeks after the smoking ban turned us nicotine addicts into savages huddling under heat lamps and overhangs, the one drinking establishment our borderline-alcoholic friends seemed most concerned about was the Mount Royal Tavern. Not because they thought the ban would put a dent in the Tavern's business; warheads could wipe out the area around MICA tomorrow, and the remaining mutant barflies would probably still be queuing up on Mount Royal Avenue for a shot of irradiated Pikesville. No, they were worried about visiting the post-ban Tavern and getting a two-nostril whiff of what the notoriously pungent drinkery would smell like without the protective layer of tobacco smoke. Admittedly it was a bit ripe at first, but strangely enough, a few months later the ban seems to have had the exact opposite effect on the ambient smell of the place. For one thing, the ban does mean you no longer wake up in your clothes from the night before thinking you blacked out in an off-brand humidor. And if you go to the Tavern's (no, seriously) MySpace page, you'll actually find patrons offering compliments on the surprisingly mild new aroma.