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New smoking ban fails to dent business

Publication Date: 2005-07-04
  • Author:NIKKI YOUNG
  • Publication:Gainesville (GA) Times
Some restaurants that formerly were smokers' hangouts reported better business this weekend since state and local smoking bans took effect Friday.

Chad Randolph, owner of L&K Cafeteria on Jesse Jewell Parkway, said smokers used to chat with staff, get endless coffee refills and occupy a table for hours.

But now that it's against state law to smoke in most public buildings, including restaurants, L&K customers are eating and leaving, so more hungry folks can sit at their tables.

"A lot of people are still coming in," Randolph said. "I think business is better."

Georgia's ban exempts restaurants closed to minors and those with private rooms and separate air systems. But Gainesville City Council passed a law that bans smoking in those establishments.

L&K manager Randy Coleman said families have responded well to the smokeless atmosphere at the Gainesville eatery.