North Texas Daily

Smoking restrictions upset few bar patrons

Smoking restrictions upset few bar patrons

October 12
19:10 2014

Olivia Sylvain / Staff Writer

Lucky Lou’s, Riprocks and Cool Beans, located on Hickory Street, are three bars in the Fry Street area that chose to restrict smoking to patios nearly a year after a city-wide smoking ordinance went into effect.

Denton bar and restaurant owners voiced their disapproval of a no-smoking ordinance proposed by City Council two years ago. City government amended the ordinance to the benefit of private club and bar owners before it went into effect in 2013. Individual bars recently began banning smoking inside.

Lucky Lou’s owner Lou Delaney said the ban would happen eventually from the changing public opinion on smoking.

“It’s now a healthier, friendlier, cleanlier environment,” Delaney said. “The climate’s changing, and people are expecting to breathe clean air.”

The bar owners made the decision to ban smoking inside their establishments collectively. Delaney said he and the other owners work together to try and make their bar district more desirable to patrons.

Other bars along Fry Street chose not to ban smoking. Public House bartender Ashley Pedigo said that patrons rarely complain about smokers being inside.

“People really don’t mind because you can only smoke upstairs and on the patio,” Pedigo said. “We’re a bar, and a lot of bars are still allowing smoking so I don’t really see us changing it anytime soon.”

Back in 2012 when Denton bars were fighting the no-smoking ordinance, one of the major complaints from owners was that bars with patios would have a huge advantage over those that don’t. Riprocks bartender Adam Patrey said he hears very few complaints from smokers when they can’t smoke inside.

“It’s been fine so far because of the patios. People will go out there just for the ambiance anyway,” Patrey said.

Other Texas cities like Dallas, Houston, and Austin have no-smoking ordinances for restaurants and other public places. Delaney said that most smokers that he speaks to approve of the smoking ban at Lucky Lou’s.

“The majority of smokers are already used to it and surprisingly appreciative of it,” Delaney said. “Ultimately, most smokers don’t want to be smokers anyway, so they want to smoke less and spend less money on cigarettes.”

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