Friday, March 12, 2010

Van's Lounge Down 35 - 40% Due to Kirkwood Smoking Ban!

An article appeared in the Post-Dispatch on wednesday which might give the impression that the Kirkwood smoking ban has had little impact so far on Kirkwood businesses. I was very skeptical about this and so I called Kirkwood taverns today to ask them directly about the effects of the smoking ban.

Kirkwood Ice and Fuel Co. reports that their overall business is down 15 percent due to the smoking ban. They also cautioned that one Kirkwood bar mentioned in the Post article is avoiding losses by simply ignoring the ban.

Mike Duffy's Pub & Grill reports that their late night bar business is down due to the smoking ban. Mike Duffy himself said Lake St. Louis aldermen are welcome to call him on his cell phone for further information on the effect of the smoking ban on Kirkwood businesses:

The Eleven Mile House Restaurant and Bar reports a "tiny" drop in their bar business and a generally positive impact on business.

Graham's Grill and Bayou Bar told me that they were considering discontinuing their late night live music starting next week due to the smoking ban. They said they would "hold on" and stay open as long as they could. They report a 12 percent overall loss due to the smoking ban. They report their food sales are up somewhat but their alcohol sales are way, way down due to the ban. They report that bar customers still show up but don't stay nearly as long.

Graham's also said they did not believe that other Kirkwood establishments were being truthful about their losses in the Post article.

I just talked to the manager of Van's Lounge. They are down 35 - 40 percent versus last year due to the ban. She told me her tips have fallen from $800-1000 per week to a mere $300 per week. She said she is lucky her husband has a good job.