KSDK-TV Channel 5 did a good story featuring the owner of “The Pub” in Lake St. Louis. According to the interview, owner John Bagwell specifically caters to smokers, whom he claims are “90 to 95%” of his customers.Interestingly, not all of his customers were unhappy about the prospect of The Pub going smoke-free in the future. Juli Good, acknowledging that smoking was bad, added she’d go outside if she needed to smoke.
Kitty Harrison, manager of BC’s Kitchen restaurant in Lake St. Louis, which opened as a smoke-free establishment, listed the advantages of operating smoke-free, including it being a healthier environment, no secondhand smoke odor in fabric and carpeting, no cigarette burns, and less cleaning, quite apart from attracting customers.Alderman John Pellerito was also interviewed after the council vote, stressing it was a health and safety issue.
The full transcript, courtesy of ksdk.com, follows:
By Mike Garrity, KSDK
A big decision Monday night in Lake St. Louis. With a 4-2 vote, the Board of Alderman has approved a citywide smoking ban in all restaurants, bars, and enclosed areas.
The board’s approval means Lake St. Louis is the first city in St. Charles County to go smoke free. As you might imagine, not everyone is happy about it.
“I’m going to say at least 90 to 95 percent of people come down here to smoke. I mean it’s a big smoking bar,” says John Bagwell.
Bagwell owns “The Pub” in Lake St. Louis, where operating a bar with an atmosphere that’s friendly to smokers is his niche. By law he does not serve food and has posted a large sign alerting all who enter that the pub is a “full smoking” establishment.
Bagwell, many of his customers, and Lake St. Louis’ Mayor, feel a citywide smoking ban will infringe on the independence of Lake St. Louis business owners and that it will drive business over into neighboring O’Fallon.
“I think they need to let the people have their own choice – the owners. Not make a vote, but the owners make their own choice,” says Bagwell.
One of Bagwell’s customers, Amy George, says when the ban goes into effect she’ll patronize businesses where she is able to smoke.
“I won’t spend my money here – I’d go somewhere where you could smoke. I don’t go to places over the river cause you can’t smoke anywhere. I come here because you can smoke and feel comfortable,” says George.
But not all Bagwell’s customers are against banning smoking in restaurants, bars, and enclosed areas.
Juli Good is one smoker who supports the ban.
“Stop the smoking. It’s bad, it stinks, it’s overwhelming, and we can go outside if we need to smoke,” says Good.
And the Alderman who sponsored the bill behind the ban, John Pellerito, says it’s all about public safety and health.
“This is about public health, public welfare. This is about the safety of the citizens and the people who work here,” says Pellerito.
Meanwhile the manager of the popular Lake St. Louis restaurant “BC’s Kitchen” says her restaurant has been smoke-free indoors and on its patio since it opened in August 2008.
And she feels that’s helped attract customers.
“Yeah, I think it’s a healthier environment,” says Kitty Harrison, who manages BC’s Kitchen. “The smoke in fabric, carpeting, cigarette burns on wood, really does make an unclean, maybe, a little less clean environment, harder to take care of.”
The new smoking ban in Lake St. Louis will go into effect in six months time.