Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ballwin Restaurateur Warns Clayton Aldermen

Harry Belli, owner of Harry’s West in Ballwin, just wrote to Mayor Goldstein and the Clayton Board of Aldermen detailing the economic hardship the Ballwin smoking ban caused his business. Here is a key passage from his letter:

“Subsequent to the smoking ban, Harry’s West lost between 10% and 15% of our revenue within the first 30 days. That was $2000-$2500 per week or approximately $130,000 per year. What kind of financial slope would the City of Clayton be in if it were to lose 10% to 15% of it’s tax base? I can assure you that it is not a good position to be placed in. We could not overcome that loss and eventually closed the Restaurant. We employed 40 people that lost their jobs and the City of Ballwin lost tax revenues. However, I am sure that the surrounding municipalities enjoyed their windfall. We were definately not the only dining establishment to close their doors and to my knowledge, no restaurants and bars are eager to open in Ballwin.”