Monday, May 18, 2009

You've Come a Long Way Baby: The Upside of Smoke-Free Restaurants

Posted By on Mon, May 18, 2009 at 6:14 AM

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When my family ducked into the dimly lit cave of Brown's Diner for Sunday lunch, something was missing. The burger was the same--predictably all-American and swaddled on a sweet, soft bun; the service was its unique age-old blend of sweet and surly. But something significant was gone.

Oh, yeah, it was the smoke. And to my lungs, it was a beautiful absence.

Just last week while dining at Jimmy Carl's Lunch Box--the mouthwatering barbecue restaurant taking up residence inside the Station Inn during the day--I remarked that maybe no place in town had benefited more from going smoke-free than the Station Inn. The Mother Church of Bluegrass is still steeped in history and charisma, but I don't have to hold my breath while I'm there.

Now I'm thinking maybe Brown's Diner wins most-improved. As much as I have always loved the atmosphere and burgers in there, I usually avoided it because I couldn't handle the fumes.

I know there's a whole other set of opinions out there, and I'm not trying to reinvigorate a dialog about Smoke-Free Tennessee. But what I want to know is this: Besides Brown's Diner and Station Inn, what are the other great places that non-smokers avoided that have now become more hospitable?

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