Don't Snuff Your Smokes Just Yet

Dallas' smoking ban is set to go into effect next Friday, but the recession may put enforcement on hold.

Bar owners said there just isn't enough time before the April 10 deadline to make all the necessary changes to accomodate smokers.

"You've gotta get permission from the city, you've gotta get all the proper permits, the build out," said Bill Katz, Frankie's Sports Bar and Grill. "There's just so much that goes along with it and the couple of weeks they've given us is just so far from sufficient its not even funny."

But time is exactly what they may now get.

Dallas City Councilmember Tennell Atkins wants to give bar and club owners more time to make the necessary changes -- and said the recession is the reason why.

"We're in a recession right now.  People don't have jobs and there is a great expense to the bar owner or the club owners," said Atkins.

Katz said he expects to spend up to $25,000 just to add heat to his patio -- and that is before adding awnings, screens and other features to accomodate the smoking ban.

The city council will vote on delaying the ban next Wednesday. 

Some bar owners are optimistic that the effective date will be pushed back so far that the issue can be put to a public vote -- though that proposal is not currently being made to the city council.

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