As for the Barrel Head getting more business, if the Springfield smoking ban goes into effect, I certainly won’t be going there for two reasons: 1) there will be even MORE smoke as the city’s tiny minority of smokers who can’t wait an hour to smoke will gather there and 2) why go to a smoky restaurant at all when there are gobs of non-smoking places thanks to the ban.
Assistant state's attorney Jim Grohne, who advises the county board on legal matters, said last week state statutes do not give Sangamon County the authority
to impose a smoking ban similar to the proposal before Springfield council members.
According to the state law, the only governing bodies that can impose such a ban are home rule governments or municipalities. Municipalities include cities, villages or incorporated towns. Sangamon County is not a home rule government.
Jerome Village Board President Harry Stirmell [says:]
"At this point, I don't see the issue coming up. ... One would think that if the city (Springfield) were to do something and we don't, it could increase the people going to (our restaurants.)"
One of the Jerome restaurants Stirmell was referring to was The Barrel Head, 1577 W. Wabash Ave.
Kevin Davlin, owner of the combination bar/restaurant, thinks a Springfield smoking ban would result in more business at his Jerome establishment, but he isn't pushing for the proposal. He also owns Chantilly Lace at 2660 S. Fifth St., a bar inside Springfield's city limits.
"It's a double-edged sword. I think business will increase (at The Barrel Head), but a ban would hurt at Chantilly Lace. I feel sorry for Springfield restaurants if the ban does pass as Ald. Bruce Strom proposes," Davlin said.
I have a feeling as non-smoking environments become the norm around here (thanks to the ban), the smoking establishments will become more and more unpopular as the non-smoking majority realizes it has better options.