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Monday, August 16, 2010

The Smoking Issue in Fort Thomas

Mark's simple post on the Pub and some upcoming improvements turned into a referendum on smoking.  Who knew that the comments section of his post from yesterday would be lit up with those interested in going non-smoking at Fort Thomas dining establishments.

It is no secret that most in Fort Thomas would love to be able to eat a good burger at the 915 without smelling like a chimney or enjoying Danny Krebs fare without losing a lung to second-hand smoke.  Fort Thomas is a healthy community with a very active citizenry who loves to walk, run, bike, and generally have a good time outdoors.  So why is it that you can only enjoy a cheap fast dinner in Fort Thomas at Subway without inheriting a smoking habit.  Granted you can enjoy a dinner at Vito's in clean air but that is an experience and not something you can take the kids to on a regular basis.

It is good to see the Arnzens realizing a good business opportunity when they see an under served market.  It is not secret that part of the success of sidewalk dining has been the ability to eat in a smoke free environment.  The Pub's plans to designate a smoke free area is the hope of keeping those outdoor dining customers through the winter when the weather doesn't accommodate those diners.

With the smoking issue as a backdrop there was a show tonight on KET entitled "Kentucky Tonight" that was an open forum on the possible smoking ban in Northern Kentucky.  The show included some decision makers in Northern Kentucky that included Kenton County Commissioner Kris Knochelmann, Boone County Commissioner Cathy Flaig, and Betsy Berns Janes, advocacy director for the American Lung Association of Kentucky. 

During the airing of the show Knochelman made comments that indicated that a vote on the smoking ban would occur within 60 to 90 days.  That combined with widely reported news that enough votes are secured in both Kenton and Campbell County make me think that a non-smoking area in the Pub could be a moot point within a matter of weeks.  While I may have been spared lung issues I am now afraid that my waistline will be expanding with nothing standing between me and my Memphis Burger from the 915.

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  1. Dude.. it's already too late for your waistline..

  2. Let's hope so Darrin! we seldom go to 915 anymore due to the smoking. Even if no one is smoking at the time, it still reeks in there! Not only that, I really do not appreciate all the servers taking smoke breaks while they are working!

    I really hope this finally passes. I do not buy the old "will hurt business: line either. If the entire state of California and then Lexington in heart of tobacco country can go smoke free, then surely Kenton and Campbell County can do it. It is good for ALL involved.

  3. Isn't it Ohio that is now talking about changing the law stating it is ok to smoke in bars. That forces the question is The Pub a bar or a restaurant? I have never been to 915 so I can't comment on that, but I do go to the Pub and the smoke isn't hanging in the air and it isn't smelly there.

    I can see it now if the back patio opens, that's where the smokers will be offered to sit, while the sidewalk is smoke free. But will it be non-smoking in the front of the bar? (where the actual bar is located) and non-smoking in the back? Then you will have people complain how you have to walk thru smoke to get to your "table" or will it be the "pool table?" It will hurt business if it goes smoke free. I know many people that come to KY for entertainment because they can still smoke.

    Also, North Carolina produces the most tobacco in the US.

  4. @ Tina - I am guessing from your comments today and yesterday, you are a smoker? I was a bartender (and a former smoker) in Ohio and Kentucky for 4 years, before and after the smoking ban. It did not hurt business at the bar in Ohio, nor did it bring more business to the bar in Kentucky.

    If you want to smoke, then go outside. Why should a non-smoker have to suffer through your bad habit? I do still enjoy a cigarette with my beer every once in awhile, but still choose to go outside, even in Kentucky. It is just common courtesy.

  5. We moved here to be able to enjoy walking to restaurants and bars like we did in Hyde Park before we had a family. We thought Fort Thomas was more family friendly. We have visited the Midway and Pub much more now that there is outdoor dining. Can there be a compromise? No smoking before 9 pm to allow diners to enjoy their food in a non-smoking environment?

  6. Hey, can we have a kid free zone too? I don't hit the YMCA anymore cause you over-breeders let your brats run free and what kind of decent parent brings their kid to a bar anyway? Maybe we need some parent police out there to tell you how to live...bottom line GET OVER YOURSELVES. Let these business owners run THEIR businesses. If you don't want to patronize them, don't...if you don't like that the workers take their breaks and have a smoke..who the F*** cares what you think. These folks have a RIGHT to a break and can do whatever they please during that 15 mins. If you don't like how others run their businesses, open your own place and dictate what your employees do and what your customers do...see how long you stay in business...geez..y'all really need to get a life and stop trying to run everyone else's...or is that a Hyde Park kinda thing to do also???