Tribe will go smoke free

by Jerry Jones and Will York
Staff Writers

Tribe Video Bar will go non-smoking on Oct. 1, club owners told Out & About Newspaper.

The club joins Play Dance Club, and Club Blue as non-smoking. Blue Gene’s  will remain smoking and 21+ up. Lucky’s Garage has not yet announced if it will allow smoking.

A recent O&AN Web poll indicated readers preferred smoke free, with 80 percent voting in favor of Tribe and Lucky’s going smoke free.

“We have talked with our customers – both smokers and non-smokers – as well as our managers and staff, and the overwhelming opinion is that we should go non-smoking throughout the club,” said Tribe co-owner David Taylor. “This is an exciting decision for us, and we are looking forward to seeing the many people who have expressed their desire to come to Tribe but who don’t because of smoke allergies and other smoke aversions.”

Taylor said he wanted to emphasize that the staff was very sensitive to the needs of its smoking customers, and was making additional accommidations in its outdoor patio area for smokers to be comfortable year-round.

“We are sensitive to our smoking customers, and want to make sure that they always feel welcome at Tribe,” Taylor said. “We have one of the nicest smoking patios in town – our outdoor patio at Red, which is covered and will soon be heated.  We hope that this will accommodate our smoking customers.”

Gov. Phil Bredesen signed a bill this summer that bans most indoor smoking - including at restaurants - but gives an exception for bars and clubs that only allow customers who are at least 21 years old.

Play Dance Club, which admits 18-year-old customers, doesn't have a choice but to ban smoking and is building an outdoor patio to accommodate smokers, co-owner Todd Roman said.

"It will be covered and will have heat, so even in the winter we're going to make sure it's really comfortable," Roman said. "We're really excited about it."

Roman said banning smoking indoors will help employees' health and could boost business.

"I know a number of my own friends who don't go out (to clubs) frequently because they hate smelling like smoke," Roman said. "I actually think business will increase. I think there are a large number of people being health-conscious these days who are looking for nonsmoking venues."

Will Pulley with Club Blu, which allows customers 18 and up, said his bar will ban smoking rather than change their age restrictions.

"I think we should provide a place for the young folks to go and have fun," Pulley said. "What really bothers me is why it (the ban) affects businesses that have patrons under 21. People 18 can buy cigarettes. You can buy them, but not go in."

He said banning smoking may deter some people from going to clubs but will attract others who dislike cigarette smoke.

Gene Sessa with Blue Gene's said his club will remain a smoking bar for ages 21 and up only.


Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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