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Smoking section returns to restaurant

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Hay River (Apr 22/02) - Restaurateurs in Hay River are still adjusting to the town's new smoking bylaw. That includes James Wong, the manager of the Boardroom Restaurant.

BBSL Photo

James Wong, the manager of the Boardroom Restaurant in Hay River, displays a no-smoking sign that has been covered up. The restaurant recently re-established a smoking section after losing business by going all non-smoking. - Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

After the bylaw came into force April 1, the Boardroom went all non-smoking. However, Wong says the restaurant lost business as a result.

Wong says some smokers would peek in through the door and ask if smoking was allowed, only to leave when told it wasn't.

"They wouldn't even come in," he adds. "They'd rather pass up the meal."

The Boardroom re-established a smoking section on April 15.

It is divided from the remainder of the restaurant by glass doors and has its own ventilation system.

In the two weeks the restaurant was completely non-smoking, Wong says business was down 25 to 30 per cent.

He believes part of the reason is people can't smoke at work, and want a place where they can go to relax and have a cigarette.

Under the bylaw, it is illegal to permit smoking wherever anyone under 18 years of age is allowed to enter.