Sports bar could lose half its customers due to smoking ban
When Tara Love started working at Wild Style Wings six weeks ago, she expected a smoother transition; and fewer problems with smoking laws.
"We put a lot of money into here, so now we're a little bit hurt and scared about the return on investment," Love said.
Now she worries the new statewide smoking ban will take away a lot of her customers.
"That was one thing that really drew people to us - was that they could smoke inside. So now, they're going to the full-fledged bars instead of stopping in at the sports bar," Love said.
Even though they're a bar, have seperate sections for smoking and non, they still can't allow people to smoke inside. They don't meet the requirements allowed by the law, because they're not a free-standing building of their own. Something Love thinks is ridiculous.
"I'm not quite sure what they were thinking," Love said. " I know they're pushing for clean air for the kids, but at the same time, I've never had a customer or mother complain about it."
She isn't sure how much business she'll lose, but says it will hurt finances regardless because they're now isolating half of their potential customers.
"We haven't been open long enough for customers to say, 'Hey, I love it here. Forget the smoking, I love it here.' These are people who haven't even tried us yet," Love said.
She's still optimistic they can survive without smokers, but has no way of knowing for sure until a couple of weeks.