Well, it’s been just over four years since Mayor Bloomberg’s smoking ban came into effect. Frankly, we miss the heady pong of cigarette smoke on our pillow, waking up after a long, longnight at the tavern. But ok, sure, maybe we’ve saved a little money, and maybe we’ve made a few friends standing around in the cold having a smoke and a bit of a chat (actually, we haven’t, but we assume some people have). Let’s go to the source, though, shall we?
WHITNEY Where she presides:La Linea, East Village Favorite drink:Apple martini Well, I really don’t know about that all. At every single one of the bars that I’ve worked for, smoking wasn’t allowed. So it hasn’t really, from my perspective, affected that much. But I see a lot more trips that customers have to make to go outside. But it doesn’t stop them from coming to a bar at all. I feel like that was the fear at the beginning, and I don’t think it really matters whether or not you can smoke in the bar. But you know what, bars may be flexible depending on the customers and the regulars. But I noticed that a lot of bars also accommodate the smoking ban by putting benches outside so customers can go outside and smoke.
GEOFF Where he presides: Ty’s, West Village Favorite drink: Brooklyn Lager
Ever since I’ve lived here in New York City, there’s been the smoking ban going on. I actually am a smoker, but I think it’s a good thing to have the ban. It’s nice to walk home without smelling like a dirty ashtray after you’ve been sitting in a bar all day. In a business sense, I think maybe the quality of life for the local residents has gone down because the noise level goes up on the street. Because you know, people, when they want to have a cigarette, they’re gonna have to go outside to smoke it. You’re talking about people who have been drinking all night, and they’re making a lot of noise out there. So, you know, it’s a trade-off, one quality of life issue for another quality of life issue. You get a lot more noise.
AMANDA Where she presides: Continental, East Village Favorite drink: Stella
Even though I just quit smoking, I feel like smoking and drinking go together. And if you have areas for smokers versus non-smokers, then it should be fine. That’s a choice someone can make themselves. I just think that it’s one of a long line of things that keeps people from making their own fucking decisions. So while I think that it’s great that non-smokers always have somewhere to be, I think it kind of sucks that smokers don’t. Going outside, that’s annoying. [Has it hurt business?] I think especially when it first happened, it totally did. People were like, well, shit, we’re gonna get a six-pack and bring it back to the apartment. But then again I think there are a lot of bars that thumb their nose at Bloomberg and the law. Especially after hours, or whatever.
Kent Where he presides: Black Rabbit, Greenpoint Favorite drink: Guinness
I have to say, I’m for it. I was working in one of the only smoking bars in the city when it happened, so it didn’t really affect me, but even though I like to smoke when I drink, it’s nice not to have it in bars. Your immediate reaction to change, though, is always... you know. So many people still allow smoking, though. We’ve been open for about ten days and last week about five Health Department people came in here around 11 o’clock and were going around with flashlights looking for ashtrays.
Ian Where he presides: Maker’s, Murray Hill Favorite drink: Maker’s Manhattan
I personally like it. I wasn’t here when it went into effect. I moved here like a month after. I don’t think it affected business much at all. Especially here, during the day the doors are open so people can hang out and smoke. I don’t smoke, but I went to college in Savannah and I worked in bars all the time, and it’s nice not going home smelling like an ashtray every night. I’ve talked to smokers and they say the same thing. They were all mad when it first happened, of course, but now they’re like “I save $50 a month on dry cleaning bills.”