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Rocco’s Restaurant – Goochland

With a capricious swipe of their sickle and a slam of the hammer the Communistwealth of Virginia has brought free choice to an end at Rocco’s in Goochland County. Rocco’s is a main stay restaurant for the county.  Up until last week dinners could pick between a sprawling non smoking dinning area or its smaller separate smoking cousin.

In addition to these dining options Rocco’s also has another separate room for the bar area.

In these tough economic times all was going well for this hard working restaurateur. They maintained a clean safe healthy environment; served quality food provided excellent service and enjoyed a thriving bar business. Customer satisfaction was high and life was good. Why wouldn’t it be? Rocco’s was supplying a demand few else in the county would. Not only did they serve non smokers but they also welcomed those second class citizens know as smokers (helping keep the riff raff off the streets).

Things were going a little too well for Rocco’s. But not to worry, in rides the state health department. If they were checking refrigerator temperatures or cleanliness I would have said OK. But no, they were more concerned about a wisp of smoke in the air. Keep in mind neither of these smoking areas were adjacent to the non smoking area. With some lame excuse about ventilation Rocco’s is now left to watch the business they worked so hard for begin to erode. The once thriving bar was like a ghost town during my last visit.

They are now left to watch sadly while the dollars they worked so hard for migrate across county lines.

One has to wonder what is it Virginia has against the small business owner.

Why is it people can’t be left alone to engage in a perfectly legal activity on private property.

The reign of Kaine is over, but the pain remains.

Isn’t it time that Bob McDonald clarified what the health department priorities should and shouldn’t be? Is Virginia opened for business or just big business and big pharmaceutical?


Don’t be Silent !

Silence is about the worst thing we can do.  Silence is Consent!

Let the restaurants and bars you go to know that it matters. Go to the smokefreelyva.com (Home Page)  to request pdf files that you can print and use.  Check under the heading “Expressions” to get a look at them (jpeg not great).  Then request the file, print them and give them out. I think it’s obvious who gets which one.  If you don’t say it, who will?

GPS POI update

Go to the website (smokefreelyva.com) to get the latest copy of the Smoke Freely VA POI for Magellan.

Updated February 15 th.

Skilligalee Restaurant – Henrico

Before I talk about the Skilligalee, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the elephant on the list. Now don’t get me wrong I love grills and sports bars and we’re grateful for all that allow smokers. We do seem to be lacking in other types of restaurants.

Smokers, like anyone else avail themselves to a full spectrum of dining options. Unfortunately restaurants like Skilligalee are far to rare. That is to say, ones that are forward thinking enough to realize that. It’s is very exciting when we see variety emerging on the list. In other words, it is not necessary to have pool tables, big screen TV’s or video games in order to offer smoking.

Skilligalee is known as a fairly upscale sea food restaurant. My experience there recently confirms that hands down.  Great atmosphere and wonderful food. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I was unfamiliar with Massachusetts’ oysters. Thankfully, Skilligalee corrected that gap in my education. They are unbelievably sweet with a mild unique flavor. You don’t however get the same taste that you’re used to when you smoke a cigarette after eating them. I also had the seafood crepe and it was out of this world.

Finally, a fine dining experience that won’t have you running outside for a cigarette.

Thank You Skilligalee

Find Skilligalee on the” List” under Henrico.

Sandbar & Grill – Newport News

Another winner.  I don’t know about the sand but the bar is nice. As far as the food goes all I’ve tried is the burger. But wow, what a burger. Nothing fancy, just flat out good flavor.

The bar ‘s got some pretty good size and has pool, darts, video games and TVs as well as wifi.

Works for  me perfectly for lunch.  So if you must run into a sandbar, I’d go with this one. Less painful and fairly tasty.

Find the Sandbar on the list under Newport News.

Summers Past – Virginia Beach

I decided to check out Summers Past in Virginia Beach. Smokers will like that the bar is in the smoking section. I like that the menu prices were really good. One of the ways that they help keep prices down is that they have a service charge of $1.00 for credit card sales under $10.00. Personally I like this (and I was using a credit card). Why should it jack up menu prices for everyone? Just let those that use them help pay those high rates.

Basically were talking home cooking here and pretty darn good. I love the service. Just the right amount. Don’t drive you crazy but doesn’t leave you needing anything either.

It is a neighbor restaurant, complete with neighbors. People you never meet and you feel like you know for years. I’m sure I’ll return to Summers Past in the future.