Los Angeles Restaurants Ban Smoking
Starting on March 8, International Women’s Day in many parts of the world, Los Angeles restaurants become non-smoking venues both inside and out. Patio dining in Los Angeles restaurants will become smoke-free and the views, the warmth and the atmosphere of enjoying a meal al fresco will no longer be marred by the waft of acrid cigarette odors circulating from the next table.
The Los Angeles restaurants ordinance that was passed last year gave Los Angeles restaurants a year to prepare. Although the law will continue to exclude bars from complying, it does levy a $250 fine to restaurants that continue to allow patrons to puff. Bars that are connected to restaurants that serve food will have to comply.
Starbucks has taken the lead on this law by banishing smokers from its patio lounges up and down California, not just in Los Angeles.
Other Los Angeles restaurants, such as Monsieur Marcel Pain, Vin & Fromage in the Farmer’s Market – a spot that had been designated as the only venue to allow smoking in the outdoor dining complex, will have to scoop up the ashtrays from the tables starting in March. The bistros along fashionable Third Street and Melrose Avenue will have to follow suit, although many have been implementing this practice for years.
Other area cities, such as Malibu, Burbank, Santa Monica and Calabasas have similar bans in place. West Hollywood, too, is considering the ordinance and will likely jump on the patio smoking ban bandwagon. Because the city is so entertainment and leisure travel-focused, however, it is likely to continue to allow smoking in nightclubs and bars and in some outdoor dining venues during certain hours. Hotels in West Hollywood and Los Angeles are receiving city requests to create smoke-free areas around their pool areas as well.
Enforcement, however, will not be easy, according to city officials. Getting police involved to write tickets, getting management involved in tangles that anger smokers and removing obstinate smokers from the establishment may be actions that are easier to discuss than impose.
But reactions so far from patrons of restaurants that already have patio smoking bans have positive and most dining establishments in Los Angeles believe the actions will be welcomed and appreciated by diners.
HelloMetro Tip: To ensure a smoke-free meal, dine inside.
Posted on February 1, 2011 by Lark Ellen Gould