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Area Restaurant Owners and Managers Weigh in on New State Smoking Restrictions PDF Print
Written by Adam Hicks   
Friday, 15 May 2009 08:38

North Carolina lawmakers voted Wednesday to ban smoking in all restaurant and bars.  The new restrictions appear to be a done deal as Governor Bev Perdue has said she will sign the bill into law.


While the law won’t take effect until January 2, 2010, many restaurant owners and managers are already beginning to plan how they will handle the transition.


A manager at Murphy’s Restaurant & Pub and Restaurant on King Street in Boone said the two owners will meet with managers at the restaurant soon to discuss when they will begin to ban smoking and how they will deal with the new law change.


The owner and operator of the Boone Saloon on King Street, Skip Sinanian, said he is excited and pleased with the new legislation.  Sinanian said although he is a smoker, he wanted his business to be a non-smoking establishment from the beginning.  Sinanian cited the smell and public health issues of second-hand smoke.


Dave Baroody, who is a manager at Canyons of the Blue Ridge Restaurant & Bar on Highway 321 in Blowing Rock, said this law was a long time coming.  Baroody said he supports the new regulations because it takes the decision of whether to allow smoking or not out of the hands of individual restaurants.


As far as how the new law will affect business, Baroody said he doesn’t expect much of a change.


The manager said, “We’ve turned away a lot of people because of smoking, but at the same time, we have a lot of bar regulars who smoke.  I don’t think it’s going to hurt or help us too much.”


Baroody said while no final decisions have been made about how Canyons will handle the transition; they will likely wait until the January 2 deadline to implement a new smoking policy.  Baroody also explained that while the law doesn’t prohibit smoking on patio areas of restaurants, he expects Canyons to do away with smoking completely.


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