Restaurant Owners Respond to Smoking Ban Idea

Wednesday on UGN News, we had a story for you on a recent survey showing public support from Michigan residents for a law making workplaces in the state smoke-free.

That would include bars and restaurants.

So, what do bar and restaurant owners think about the idea?

What may be surprising for some really isn’t new for businesses like downtown Marquette’s Vierling.

The restaurant has been smoke-free for 2 years.

It all happened exactly 2 years ago tonight, when owner Terry Doyle just had enough of the smoke.

He decided the next morning to ban smoking.

Michigan residents may be fed up with the smoke, too.

The Michigan Department of Community Health recently asked people around the state.

75% of them said they’d be in favor of a law to make state workplaces smoke-free.

34 states already have such a law.

The survey may be good news for the state to become more proactive, but the people who run some restaurants are concerned about what will happen to their business that’s currently filled with smokers.

Michelle Butler owns Vango’s in Marquette.

She recently toyed with the idea of going smoke-free.

She was worried about excluding some of their existing customers but thought it would be for the best.

It turns out she were right.

Vango’s has been smoke-free for a year now.

Butler feels the move has actually enhanced the business, pulling in people who wouldn’t have considered going into a smoky environment while still keeping existing customers.

Since Wednesday morning, we’ve contacted 8 establishments in Marquette that still allow smoking.

No one at any of them was willing to talk with us.