Effects of smoking ban vary

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

A week since a statewide smoking ban took effect, Clovis bars and restaurants are looking into ways to accommodate smokers.

Business has been slow at the Prince Lounge, bartender Monkey Padilla said. She estimates about 80 percent of the bar’s customers are smokers, and weekend receipts are down by a third since the ban.

“It’s taken a big toll on our business,” she said.

Kripple Creek restaurant manager Danny Tipton said management took action before the smoking ban went into effect. Now customers who want to smoke and eat can take advantage of a full-service patio.

“I think our business has increased a little bit,” he said. “We have a smoking patio where the smokers can sit outside and smoke and eat.”

Candi Sandoval, owner of K-Bob’s Steak House, doesn’t see the smoking ban as a big problem.

“I don’t really think it’ll affect my business,” she said. “With it being a statewide law like that is, there’s nothing really (any) of us can do about it.”

But she said she is thinking about building a spot for smoking customers.

“I won’t serve food and do all that ’cause I think you have to have permits and all kinds of crazy stuff,” she said. “But I probably will make a place far enough away from my building where they could step outside and smoke.”

At the Prince Lounge building, a patio is out of the question for now, Padilla said.

“We’re thinking about doing a patio of some sort,” she said. “But at this temperature right now, nobody really wants to be outside. And in the winter time it’s going to be cold out there. Either way, building a patio is not going to help.”