Popular Mid-City watering hole Finn McCool's Irish Pub announced on Facebook this morning that the bar will be smoke-free beginning Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1. The bar has experimented with smoke-free days since 2011, when its smoke-free "social experiment" drew mixed opinions from its patrons, following failed attempts by legislators in Baton Rouge to ban smoking in bars statewide. Owners Stephen and Pauline Patterson said the decision rested with their customers:
The Finns family is a brilliant one! So having taken into account all the feedback you have given us over the past 12 years we believe this is the best decision moving forward. After participating in several social experiments we have discovered another thing we love about our customers: they are open and fair-minded and willing to accept this new policy. Especially the smokers!
And it might not be alone. While there's been a trend of longtime bars turning on the no smoking sign — including Winston's Pub and The Maple Leaf this year — District B New Orleans City Council member LaToya Cantrell announced that she plans to introduce legislation this November that will ban smoking in bars and public buildings, a plan that already has drawn comments from both sides of the argument, as well as support from several councilmembers and Mayor Mitch Landrieu.