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News Summary

Many Ann Arbor restaurant, bar owners eager to snuff out smoking as ban approaches

Publication Date: 4/18/2010
  • Author:Sven Gustafson
  • Publication:AnnArbor.com

The statewide smoking ban may be heralding big changes for Michigan's hospitality industry, but Ann Arbor bar and restaurant owners largely aren't sweating the switch to smoke free.

A combination of factors -- not the least of which is a dwindling population of tobacco users and successful precedents in other cities and states -- as many Ann Arbor restaurateurs looking forward to the change.

"My place will get busier when this nonsmoking comes in, I guarantee it,"said Bill Fraser, the owner of Fraser's Pub on Packard. Staff there will spend half a week prior to the May 1 smoking ban cleaning the restaurant and repainting to get rid of three decades worth of accumulated smoke odors, he said.

"If I did it myself, and other bars didn't do it, it would probably hurt me," Fraser said of going smoke-free. "But because all bars have to do it, it's going to be a big plus."

The smoking ban, signed in December and effective May 1, prohibits smoking in all workplaces, public places, and anywhere that food or beverages are served, including restaurants with outdoor seating. Cigar bars, tobacco shops and the gambling floors of the three Detroit casinos are exempt from the law.