Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Flagship Smoke-Free St. Louis City bar sinks. rBar renames and allows smoking.

The Forest Park Southeast bar rBar, which closed a few weeks ago, was a member of the Smoke-Free St. Louis coalition. Corey Lawson, who was one of the owners, said rBar supported the coalition because it was something that appealed to the people in their 20s who frequented rBar.

Lawson also said he would support an indoor-smoking ban in St. Louis city. “If I had it my way, it would be ‘no smoking’ just because of the work conditions,” said Lawson. “No one likes to work twelve hours a night in smoke. But you have to do it — it’s business.”

Lawson’s bar will reopen as AM Lounge, a late-night lounge and nightclub that will be open from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. The new concept, Lawson said, doesn’t work as a smoke-free environment.

“What we’ve learned in the last two years is that when you have earlier hours [as rBar did], the non-smoking is very important to people,” said Lawson. But, he said, people who don’t usually smoke often like to do so when they’re out drinking late at night.