City bars prepare for smoking ban

Indianapolis bars are cleaning and investing in infrastructure to prepare for strengthened smoking ban

Indianapolis

Bars and taverns across Indianapolis are preparing for the strengthened citywide smoking ban that will go into effect at 6 a.m. Friday.

They are also getting plenty of information from area group, Smoke Free Indy, about what they need to know to stay in compliance.

The owner of Keystone Sports Review, a restaurant and bar on the north side, wants to build an outdoor deck because of the ordinance.

"I'm still going to have people come in, but they're not going to stick around. When they have to step outside, they're going to say goodbye, sayonara," said Larry Kramer, co-owner of Keystone Sports Review.

He is expecting an initial dip in business because 40 percent of his patrons are smokers.

"It's more expensive if you're not proactive and try to do something about it and lose the business," said Kramer.

"We're doing outreach to every bar and tavern in Indianapolis which is 300. They are getting something in the mail, a phone call and personal visit," said Lindsay Grace, a spokesperson for Smoke Free Indy.

Smoke Free Indy helped pushed the ordinance through, and officials with the organization are determined to keep bar owners in the know.

"For a business or person who is found to be in violation, they would receive a citation. It's for $100," said Adam Collins, an official with the Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement.

In an effort to cut back on any additional litter, businesses are being encouraged to invest in one of these stand-alone ash trays.  As long as they bring it inside at the end of the night they will not need an additional license.

"Cigarette butts are the number one littered item in the World at 1 trillion a year so it's nice that this will bring attention to the problem that litter does occur," said Grace.

Plenty of people across Indianapolis are also reacting to the ban with a variety of reactions.

"I think it's very silly. We're all adults, and we can go in or not go in," said Ben Houff, a Keystone Sports Review patron.

"I was stationed out in San Diego, California, and they had the smoking ban out there, and it didn't affect he bars, and I loved it," said  Mike Renholzberger, said another patron.

Even though the areas hookah and cigar bars are excluded from the ordinance, the businesses will need to get a $215 permit to continue business. As of Tuesday night, fewer than half of the businesses have taken the first step.

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