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Joe’s Inn again. A follow up. April, 7th

There seems to be some skepticism of my assertion that Joe’s new smoking policy will have a detrimental impact on their business. These impressions were based on my visit of March 28th. I have been told that Mondays are always slow. Also, it was the first day of the new smoking policy, that given a few days, they (the smokers) will return. So it’s only fair that I consider the possibility that I had indeed jumped to a conclusion.

Needless to say another visit was in order to insure that what I had witnessed wasn’t simply an anomaly. So here we are again, this time a Thursday (April 7th) 12:20pm – 1:20pm. As you can see from the photo below, things are at least as dismal as they were on the Monday visit.   I do regret that I don’t have a pre March 28th photo to show. If you’re a Joe’s customer then you know how packed the place always was at lunch time. If you weren’t, then you have to take my word for it.

 

 

 So where does this leave us. One very good restaurant operated by very good people that had made one very bad choice. They believed that they could rebuff their loyal customers without consequence. I have been one of those customers for years now, and even though I quit smoking last December, I still use the smoking side. Honestly, I really can’t tell much deference in air quality since the new policy has been in effect. I wonder which of the nearby smoking restaurants are picking up Joe’s refugee customers. That could make for an interesting next post.  Here are some of the possibilities; Aladdin, BANDITOS BURRITO LOUNGE, Mulligan’s Sports Grille, Penny Lane Pub and The Republic to name a few.

 I am very proud of these customers for standing up for themselves. I understand that in some parts of the state they are more like sheep. Incidentally, even though I quit smoking, I still support these smokers by avoiding nonsmoking restaurants as much as possible. The free market has been handicapped, not killed by the smoking ban. What you, the customer does still makes a difference. Keep up the good work.

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Joe’s Inn, a Turn for the Worst.

The trend since the start of this ridiculous smoking ban in Virginia has been toward more smoking restaurants not less. Granted it has been slow, but at least, with very few exceptions things have been moving in the right direction. One of these exceptions was Sammy G’s in Fredericksburg, but that was because of a change in ownership.

Joe’s Inn in Richmond on the other hand has been a great benefactor of smoking clientele. The smoking section packs it in and it can sometimes be hard to find a table even at lunch time. The non-smoking section also does well, but not quite like the smoking side. This is about the last place you would expect to go nonsmoking.

The nonsmoking side fills the need of the nonsmoker while smokers (spending many dollars) pack the smoking side. I believe it is safe to say that they account for at least half the business while at the same time creating no down side for the nonsmokers.

Today I went to Joe’s for lunch. When the waitress saw me reach for a e-cigarette, she told me I could not smoke until after 10:00 pm. I informed her that that was a little late for lunch. I find this completely mind boggling, but at least explains why the place was nearly empty at 12:10 in the afternoon. There is one thing I will say for the place; it’s now so quiet and peaceful without all those pesky customers.

 

 

The Gost Town Formally know as Joe's Inn.

There is weather they know it or not,  plenty of area restaurants ready to take these displaced smoking customers that Joe’s no longer wants.

 

Having a great lunch (and a e-cigarette) here at Mulligan’s.

 

(lets all try to keep Joe’s looking like their photo until smoking is reinstated.)

Mi Hacienda Mexican Restaurant

When was the last time you tried Mi Hacienda Mexican Restaurant. It had been years (about 22 that is) for me. Well it’s been my loss, this place is still great. The bar area could use a remodel, but they do allow smoking and dining in there. The rest of the restaurant is white tablecloth.

 The food is quite good and the staff always makes you feel welcomed.  Here is a really great feature. You can treat yourself without busting the bank. They even have a $3.99 lunch special twice a week.

 Don’t wait 22 years, try Mi Hacienda soon.

8250 Midlothian Tpke
Richmond, VA 23235                        Phone:(804) 560-6994

Garmin Smoking Restaurant POI’s

Find them with ease!

As many of you are aware smokefreelyva provides POI (favorites) files for the Magellan brand GPS. We are now adding the same service for owners of Garmin GPS. We currently have a “rough” version ready for testing. If any of you brave Garmin owners would like to give it a whirl we could really use the feedback. Keep in mind this is a very useful tool but is not a substitute for the occasional visit to SmokefreelyVa.com. We update to website almost immediately when new restaurants are found. We update the POIs every two or three months.

Personally, I have been using this feature of my GPS for going on one year. I find it very useful and would not be without it.  The other good thing is that it’s free. (Not a bad price for something so handy).

Keep in mind that these file are not perfect. Sometimes the coordinates we get for some addresses are a little off. We correct this on subsequent versions as we find them.

If you are interested in this (bata) version then drop me an email list@smokefreelyva.com.

Thanks, Moe

11/13/10 there ready. Both magellan and Garmin files have been updated.

 

What’s Next ?

Some say that smoking bans won’t pave the way to too much government control over our lives. They say these bans are reasonable. But little by little more rights will be taken away from all of us , not just smokers. Each time a little more far reaching, until no one will be in a position to oppose anything the government wants. For America to see it’s future it need only look to those that have had smoking bans longer than us.

Here is your future, America….no don’t turn away , look at it! It’s just the beginning.

Shame on Sammy (Sammy T’s)

Well here’s a contradiction to my last post (New, not just newly discovered). Sammy T’s of Fredericksburg is now non smoking. They once showed promise as an independent forward thinking restaurant. They have two completely separate dinning sections so creating a smoking section was easy for them.  All I can imagine is that the idea of free choice was just too much for their non smoking customers to tolerate.

Bottom line, Sammy T’s no longer wants your  business.  (having a great lunch at Hard Times).

Comrades, enjoy still another choice free restaurant.

I’ll get them off the POI as soon as I can, Meanwhile my apologies to anyone misdirected to this place.

New, not just newly discovered.

I just wanted to say something about this because I think it is important. As you know we are continually adding restaurants to our list. The one thing you may not be aware of is that not all of these are simply restaurants that have been smoking and we are just now finding them. Many of them are restaurants that have only recently become smoking restaurants. Believe me friends, this is a good sign. They did not just jump right on board; instead they waited to see what impact going non smoking would have on their business.

They waited for free market forces to show that offering a smoking option would have a positive impact on the health of their business. This is good for two reasons, first it means that we can expect this trend to continue for some time and that the overall numbers will increase. Also it proves you can have an impact.

Keep up the good work. Use the list (smoking restaurants) as much as you can. Pass the word on to friends and family. If you know of anything not on the list that should be, please let me know about it.

For inspiration, here’s a reprint of an email from one of our most regular contributors.

Moe– Heard that Kelly’s Tavern near Hilltop in Virginia Beach had converted an area for smoking… went in this afternoon while on a trip back from the grocery store and lo! and behold! they had converted their entire bar and gaming area plus a number of adjacent booths and tables to a smoker-friendly area (about 60% of the restaurant).
What makes this especially significant is that they operate about a dozen locations in Hampton Roads.  I talked to the manager-on-duty and she informed me that they are reviewing all of the other sites for similar re-modeling although she feels a few won’t be able to meet the state criteria.  The Hilltop location, while not their oldest, is their flagshp operation and also their corporate HQ.
Kelly’s has been the consistent winner for years of the “Best at the Beach” award given by the Virginian-Pilot for best hamburger.  They offer a full-service menu and could be considered a destination for dining out by many.
Parenthetically, while the smoking area was jam-packed, there wasn’t a soul in the non-smoking area….
Their information for The List:
 
Kelly’s Tavern
1936 Laskin Road #201
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
(757) 491-8737
Hours: 11AM-2AM Sun-Sat