Trav­elBriefs

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - TRAVEL -

law­suit seek­ing to stop the or­di­nance from tak­ing ef­fect. A state judge de­clined to stop the city from en­forc­ing the ban but set a May 21 hear­ing on the mat­ter.

“All we’ve been try­ing to do with this law­suit is slow the process down,” said Alex Fein of the Court of Two Sis­ters restau­rant and bar. “We don’t feel like they vet­ted the process enough.”

Busi­ness own­ers warn that the ban may cut into rev­enues by as much as 20 per cent in the first year.

The city coun­cil passed the smok­ing or­di­nance in late Jan­uary and Mayor Mitch Lan­drieu quickly signed it into law. The city’s lead­ers are sup­port­ing the ban pri­mar­ily as a health mea­sure and say bans in other cities have not hurt busi­ness prof­its in the long run.

The ban has en­joyed the sup­port of many prom­i­nent mu­si­cians who com­plain that smoky bars are un­healthy.

“This is my in­stru­ment, and I need to be able to breathe when I’m try­ing to sing,” said jazz singer John Boutte, who says he stopped smok­ing more than 14 years ago. “I know you have a right to smoke, but I have a right not to smoke, too. So, I mean, we have to make a com­pro­mise some­where in there. I’m not go­ing to tell you not to smoke. I just don’t want you to blow it in my face.”

Boutte per­forms reg­u­larly at d.b.a., a club on French­men Street that vol­un­tar­ily went smoke-free years ago.

The ban, though, will be a big change in a city with more than 500 bars, many of them neigh­bour­hood han­gouts where smok­ing is part of the fab­ric of life.

“I don’t agree with no part of it,” said Larry Sim­mons, a 52-year-old

GERALD HER­BERT / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pa­trons will no longer be per­mit­ted to smoke in­side Ka­jun’s Pub in New Or­leans.

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