Business owners renovating to play by rules of new state smoking ban
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DELAVAN Jon Kasnick described most of the customers who light up a cigarette at the Endzone Sports Bar and Grill here as “courtesy smokers.”
“Our clientele are more middle-aged, not 21 years old, and more conscientious, so if they were smoking, they’d move away from someone who was eating,” said Kasnick, who’s owned the bar with his brother, Tom, for 10 years.
As of Monday, courtesy is overridden by law. Wisconsin’s comprehensive statewide smoking ban legislation, passed last year, goes into effect July 5, eliminating indoor smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants.
The law does permit smoking in outdoor structures that are not enclosed areas. That would include structures that have four solid walls and no permanent roof, or a structure with at least two of its four walls having openings larger than 25 percent of the wall space.
In April, the Kasnicks converted an outdoor beer garden just outside the bar to a structure with a screen door and large screened windows on two walls that allow his smoking customers to congregate.
“The decision to do this was 90 percent coincidence,” Kasnick said. “When the smoking ban came around, we thought, why not do this, too?”
Kasnick isn’t a smoker, but like many other bar owners, he’s not a fan of the new law.
“I don’t like (the state) telling me what I can and can’t do on this because then, what’s next? What else are they going to regulate?” he said. “Of course, nonsmokers are smiling. They’re as happy as can be.”
Read the full story in the e-edition of Walworth County Sunday, HERE.