The statewide smoking ban is almost two months old. The big question is how are the bars and taverns in the state faring after the law took effect. Andrew Wagner of OnMilwaukee asked that question to area taverns and got the following response:
Smokers have had little problem popping outside for a puff during the warm-weather months, but what will happen come winter, when temperatures plummet and most of the city’s outdoor patios are closed.
“That’s what I’m most interested to see,” says Eitel. “I think it’s going to have a lot of people looking at expenses like heaters and outside smoking areas to keep customers.”
Wisconsin Tavern League President Rob Swearingen says that a large percentage of calls from members involve what they can do to build outdoor structures.
There has been a definite increase in the number of decks and patios installed at area taverns. Some are even quite elaborate, with in ground heating and landscaping. But that begs the question, what will patrons do when the weather turns cold.