We're down to 53 days until the restaurant smoking ban kicks in on Oct. 1. While a lot of places are already kicking the habit, I was still wondering if the ban would mean we could someday eat at Mirror—one of my favorite restaurants—without dining under a cloud of smoke from the bar.
Tennessee's watered-down version of a smoking ban has made the transition to smoke-free dining a complicated one for many restaurants. Mirror owner Colleen DeGregory, for one, was left wringing her hands about the decision, fearing that her smoking customers would migrate to bars with 21-and-up age restrictions, since those places won't have to kick the habit. Even as a non-smoker, DeGregory had to contemplate the options to keep smoking legal in the restaurant: create a separate patio with garage doors opening to the outside, add age restrictions, institute a members-only policy, or find some other loophole left by Tennessee's wobbly version of non-smoking legislation.
Well, cheers to Mirror. Co-owner Rick Bolsom recently passed on the good news that the restaurant will be smoke-free starting Oct. 1. Here's hoping that taste wins out over addiction and that even Mirror's most nicotine-ridden customers will know a good thing...once they can see it.