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DC Council Passes Smoking Ban

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Sadly legislators are probably not smart enough to craft a workable law in this regard.

... which is why giving the choice to the proprietor is such a good idea.

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As far as the market, it is adjusting to the smoke-free demands of patrons. People have cited restaurants that have banned smoking--on the smokefreedc website there is a listing of 193 (though some such as CF FOlks and Firehook bakery shouldn't be that surprising).

Several bars are now open that advertise the fact they are smoke free-- such as Halo the bar across from Whole Foods and Clardendon Ballroom (though that is across the river).

If people really want smoke free bars they will "vote" with their pocketbooks, propreitors will notice this fact, and more smoke free bars will open.

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Another solution - drink Nicotinis. :lol:

"As I write this, I am guzzling something called a Nicotini, which, as the name suggests, is a cocktail with a smoker's cough—an ethereal blend of vanilla-flavored vodka, the coffee liqueur Kahlua and a splash of tobacco juice.

And later, when I looked back on my increasingly seismic handwriting, it appeared I enjoyed it. According to my notes, the Nicotini had a pleasing taste, which I described as either like a Maryland crabcake or a vanilla cupcake that had been sitting near an ashtray for an hour or so." Gersh Kuntzman, "Tobacco in Your Tiramisu?," Newsweek, May 19, 2003:

Edited by crackers

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Another solution - we all drink Nicotinis. :lol:

"As I write this, I am guzzling something called a Nicotini, which, as the name suggests, is a cocktail with a smoker's cough—an ethereal blend of vanilla-flavored vodka, the coffee liqueur Kahlua and a splash of tobacco juice.

And later, when I looked back on my increasingly seismic handwriting, it appeared I enjoyed it. According to my notes, the Nicotini had a pleasing taste, which I described as either like a Maryland crabcake or a vanilla cupcake that had been sitting near an ashtray for an hour or so."    Gersh Kuntzman, "Tobacco in Your Tiramisu?," Newsweek, May 19, 2003:

Didn't Bourdain write in one of his books about a meal that featured tobacco as an ingredient?

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the Nicotini had a pleasing taste, which I described as either like a Maryland crabcake or a vanilla cupcake that had been sitting near an ashtray for an hour or so."   

Do those two things really taste alike?

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Another solution - we all drink Nicotinis. ;)

According to my notes, the Nicotini had a pleasing taste, which I described as either like a Maryland crabcake or a vanilla cupcake that had been sitting near an ashtray for an hour or so."    Gersh Kuntzman, "Tobacco in Your Tiramisu?," Newsweek, May 19, 2003:

Do those two things really taste alike?

I was having a hard time imagining eating anything that was sitting near an ashtray and having it be enjoyable. :lol:

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watching the 10PM news last night and was amazed at how quickly the idea is moving along. Funny though, while the reports show that in larger cities such as San Fran and NYC, where there is a smoking ban, that the restaurant business wasn''t affected. I wonder who they relied that info on, the high end restaurants where it generally isn''t an issue, or the seedy bars of the east village where its their life line to have smokers.

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First and foremost let me apologize for your previous experience at Vermilion. Second, thank you for giving us a try.

My name is David Hammond, I am the general manager at Vermilion. Smoke had been an issue in our downstairs dining area in the past. I am pleased to let you know that we have remedied the situation. We have installed a filtration system that is extremely effective.

While we are not a smoke free restaurant and unfortunately I'm not in a position

to pay you to return :lol: , I would love the opportunity to make it up to you. I can assure you that your experience last September is not typical of our establishment and in no way indicative of our goal. Please feel free to contact me either here at the restaurant (703.684.9669) or through our website (vermilionrestaurant.com).

Cheers -David

What I'd be curious about then is where the line is drawn between what is a bar and what is a restaurant.  For instance, on egullet, I railed into Vermilion (deservedly) for what I considered to be a wholly unacceptable ventilation system.  The "restaurant" floor was separate from the "bar/lounge" area, but it seemed as though the air from the latter was being pumped into the former.  (And yes, I know it's not in the District, but it serves as a good example).

Another place that comes to mind is Ella's Pizza.  Clearly, Ella's is a restaurant, a pizza joint, but it does (I haven't been there in a while, so perhaps this has changed) draw in a pretty good bar business, particularly for happy hour.  There really is no true physical separation between bar and restaurant space there.  That's another place where smoke really carried.

I have no objections to smoking and smokers.  I just don't want to be a part of it when it ruins an experience for me.  Restaurants like Vermilion or Ella's may be concerned that they'll lose business if there is a ban on smoking in restaurants, and of course RAMW will come up with all sorts of doomsday figures to back it up.  But there's also the serious chance that people who avoid certain restaurants because of the smoke will start going there again.  I mean, you couldn't pay me to go to Vermilion again until it becomes smokefree.  I'd hope owners/managers would be looking not only at numbers of people that might be lost by such a ban, but also at the numbers that they could gain.

And John, thanks for the insight from Firefly.

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First and foremost let me apologize for your previous experience at Vermilion.  Second, thank you for giving us a try.

My name is David Hammond, I am the general manager at Vermilion.  Smoke had been an issue in our downstairs dining area in the past.  I am pleased to let you know that we have remedied the situation.  We have installed a filtration system that is extremely effective.

While we are not a smoke free restaurant and unfortunately I'm not in a position

to pay you to return :lol: , I would love the opportunity to make it up to you.  I can assure you that your experience last September is not typical of our establishment and in no way indicative of our goal.  Please feel free to contact me either here at the restaurant (703.684.9669) or through our website (vermilionrestaurant.com). 

Cheers -David

David, Thanks for your post. There are a lot of things that I think I can like about Vermilion, particularly the food, but was always hesitant because of the smoke situation. Not only am I appreciative of your acknowledgement of the problem, but also to hear that you've remedied it. We'll definitely pay a visit again in the coming weeks.

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Did anyone read this Letter to the Editor in last week's Washington Post from the GM at Finn MacCools? My first thought when I read that was, "are you kidding?" It doesn't surprise me in the slightest bit that customers who smoke stay longer and spend more money. But I was left with the impression that he thinks that this is some sort of a demographic rule of law that non-smokers don't hang and spend.

I wonder if Mr. Wright has considered that perhaps the non-smokers are leaving sooner because they don't want to be around the smoke anymore? Go smokefree and maybe the non-smokers will actually stick around longer and spend more money.

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I can happily report that while dining upstairs at Vermillion I had no clue that people were smoking away downstairs. Once you get downstairs it doesn't smell worse than any bar or lounge in DC. Actually, the only real smoky part was by the bar. The tables up front were fine.

For what it's worth, I'm ready for smoke free USA. I'm tired of going home with my hair smelling like somebody elses habit.

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DC Council Passes Smoking Ban

I'd love to hear what folks think about this.

Personally, I think it's a good thing. But, I do accept and recognize that when I go out to certain types of establishments smoking is to be expected. That being said, it's always a pleasant experience to go to places that opt to be smoke-free - such as Restaurant Eve (I can't imagine what the bar there would be like if people were firing up big stogies after dinner...)

Let's hear what all of you think - diners and industry types alike!

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Studies have shown that the effects of smoking bans on restaurant/bar business depend on who is sponsoring the study.

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I'm not familiar with all the nuances of the issue, but what was the objection to the Schwartz amendment that would have permitted smoking in places that had high-capacity smoke removal equipment? Oceanaire permits cigar smoking but you'd never know it because they have such equipment. And I wonder if the exception discussed in the article would cover Shelley's.

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I think it's a grand idea, although I think if restaurants want to have a separate, sealed 'cigar room' where people can go smoke (a la Angelo and Maxie's), they ought to be allowed to do so. Servers don't have to go in there at all (the goodies being sold out in the bar area), so no employees are being needlessly exposed to smoke. Even better, you don't end up with an army of smokers loitering outside the front door and making a gauntlet that nonsmoking clients have to wade through just to get inside.

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I'm not familiar with all the nuances of the issue, but what was the objection to the Schwartz amendment that would have permitted smoking in places that had high-capacity smoke removal equipment?

Ditto. As I mentioned in the Bourbon thread recently, their system sucks all the smoke away impressively, so my dinner was eaten in smoke-free peace while people who wanted to smoke could do so. I'd like that option available.

Edited by jm chen

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Personally I enjoy a good cigar outside or in a high tech room that sucks the air away. That being said, I can not stand smoke when I eat (except for BBQ, but that is another thread). I do respect the right for people to smoke, especially in a bar.

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And who, pray tell, is going to be able to enforce it. I know, we could recruit the thought police...12-1 vote, huh? So many hurtful thoughts, so little time. So much poverty, traffic, crime, stadium disputes, hunger, racial tensions and infastructure issues. Hey, lets ban smoking in bars and clubs, great use of you time and our tax money. :lol: Screw you guys, I'm gaoing home.

D

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And who, pray tell, is going to be able to enforce it.  I know, we could recruit the thought police...12-1 vote, huh?  So many hurtful thoughts, so little time.  So much poverty, traffic, crime, stadium disputes, hunger, racial tensions and infastructure issues.  Hey, lets ban smoking in bars and clubs, great use of you time and our tax money.  :lol:   Screw you guys, I'm gaoing home.

D

Come on Dave, tell us how you really feel.

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