Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg commemorated the 10-year anniversary of the smoking ban with a visit to Old Town Bar, a tavern that was notoriously filled with customers puffing cigarettes before the ban took place. At a press conference at the bar, Mayor Mike noted: "[T]en years later, fewer New Yorkers are smoking, we are living longer, our industries are thriving and nobody longs for a return to smoke-filled bars and restaurants." He also called the Smoke-Free Air Act "one of the best things that ever happened to our bar, restaurant and tourism industry."
Although Old Town owner Gerard Meagher initially feared that the ban would hurt business, he tells the Post that he eventually "became converted to the mayor's point of view." Business went up 20 percent after the ban, and the chandeliers and mirrors do not have to be cleaned as much, so that's money in the bank. One longtime customer tells the Post: "I think I'm more inclined to order food in bar restaurants because now you can smell the food." Now, Mayor Mike can return to his crusade against big sodas.
· Bloomy Celebrates Smoking Ban's 10th Birthday [NYP]