Friday, November 22, 2019

[UPDATE] Two Popular Buckhead Establishments to Ban Smoking in January

New York Prime announced Wednesday that both its restaurant and bar will become smoke free as of January 2, 2020. The restaurant, located in the lobby level of the MonarchTower office highrise at 3424 Peachtree Road in Buckhead, opened in early 2003, and has allowed cigar smoking in its bar since inception.  The Buckhead steakhouse, part of Charleston, South Carolina-based CentraArchy Restaurants, is one of three that the group operates, the other two being in Boca Raton and Myrtle Beach.  

Smoking, which was seemingly only still an option at the Buckhead New York Prime, will still be allowed in the restaurant's outdoor courtyard.  

The move, according to a facebook post on the restaurant's page announcing the change, is to comply with a new Georgia law.  

The "law," actually a City of Atlanta ordinance, passed in early July and was signed off by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms days later.  The broad-reaching ordinance bans smoking and vaping in restaurants, bars, workplaces and many other public places in the city, as well as at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The ban, which includes cigarettes, cigars and electronic cigarettes, goes into effect January 2, 2020. 

Smoking was already restricted by a Georgia law passed in 2005 which prohibited smoking in restaurants and bars unless people under 18 are prohibited, or if smoking areas are in enclosed private rooms with independent air-flow systems, or outdoors.   

The new ordinance, which unlike the Georgia [state] law, affects only those restaurants and bars within the city limits [plus Hartsfield], essentially closes the previous law's loopholes.  

According to the Georgia Restaurant Association, Atlanta has about 3,000 restaurants.  About 30 of them, roughly 1%, permit smoking.

Among those establishments that still allow smoking in their bars & restaurants are Johnny's Hideaway and Hal's The Steakhouse, both in Buckhead, in the City of Atlanta. 

Mike Dana, co-owner of Johnny’s Hideaway, had earlier this year sought an exemption to grandfather in restaurants like his that currently allow smoking.

“Smoking has been an integral part of our business,” Dana told The AJC in July. “A ban would cripple our business.”

Dana and fellow co-owner Chris Dauria have apparently had a change of heart, with a rep for the restaurant telling ToNeTo Atlanta "On January 1, 2020, Johnny's Hideaway will become a smoke-free facility."

After a month long "smoking survey" late last year, the owners of The Vortex, with locations in Midtown and Little 5 Points, banned smoking in both of their restaurants early this year.  

Are you dissuaded from patronizing bars and restaurants where smoking is allowed?  Do you think restaurants like New York Prime and Johnny's Hideaway should have been granted exemptions to the ordinance?  Will you go to places like Johnny's and New York Prime more in 2020 knowing the establishments will be smoke free?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Outrageous. One the last last bastions where a man could enjoy a steak and cigar.

dal787 said...

Yes. I would avoid anywhere that allowed smoking.

Unknown said...

very glad to hear this. what about Elbow Room and Hal's?

Anonymous said...

So GLAD!!! We will not patronize any restaurant or venue that allows smoking. Should not be allowed outside on patios either!!! Totally ruins the ability to enjoy a lovely meal.

Unknown said...

What a waste .. it's like in comunist countries .. you can choose what to do being told ... so.much freedom. No place to smoke ... No wonder will be cigarette butts on the ground everywhere

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