Restaurants, bars build “smoke-easies”

Did the city of Fort Wayne even consider the effects of its ban on smoking in restaurants and bars? Here’s Kevin Leininger on local restaurants’ efforts to aid and comfort its smoking customers:

(The law) bans smoking in certain “enclosed areas,” which it defines as “space between a floor and ceiling which is enclosed on all sides by solid walls or windows … which extend from floor to ceiling.”

Club Soda has hired Fort Wayne Awning to produce clear temporary panels for the second-floor deck attached to the business’ 19th-century brick building, covering two or even all three open sides. With the effects of wind and cold minimized, three gas heaters able to heat a 20-foot radius should keep the space bearable in all but the coldest weather, owners hope.

And he continues:

But if restaurants and bars could turn the outdoors into the indoors, what (except for costing businesses lots of money) has the ordinance accomplished? Customers will still be smoking, and employees will still be serving them — in an area separated from the non-smoking section.

Sounds a lot like the city’s old smoking ordinance to me.

Read his whole column and wonder: What was the point of the ordinance again? Did the city really think people were just going to stop smoking — or were smokers just supposed to stop eating out?

Shoving people outside to smoke when other solutions are possible is just not hospitable.

Photo by hamiso on Flickr

— Jon Swerens

Join the Conversation


  1. Jon, all laws are attempts to right a perceived wrong, including the smoking ban. The fact that loopholes exist doesn’t change that fact. Even the best legislation can’t anticipate every possibility. Loopholes will always exist, and simply provide the opportunity for legislators to work out their legislation.

  2. Scott – Unfortunatly, the legislators being human, can only get things so complicated that the average citizen can no longer understand the law and shuts down, trying no more. I believe that is why our voters no longer vote – they cannot understand what’s going on and how things happen. I will tell you, I have found out in the last 6 months that our lawmakers look upon the citizens that they represent as “a bunch of uneducated fools”. How to correct this? They only way is to “throw the bums out”. John B. Kalb

  3. The original ban was sufficient and plenty of establishments spent 10’s of thousands of dollars to comply, only to be told later, too bad, we’ve changed our minds. Fort Wayne city council has an a-typical mindset; “you’re too dumb to know what’s right for you, we’ll decide”.

    Now we’re looking at paying for a $3 million walkway for a second-rate hotel?

    I’m with Kalb, throw the bums out.

  4. ok this isn’t about this smoking ban thing im jw how in the world i have a SS card with my mom’s maiden name but i can’t get MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE with it? ugh the city of FW is retarded some times!!!!!

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