Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em, Before Friday

Dallas City Council doesn't go for six-month delay of smoking ban

Smokey bars will be history in Dallas, starting Friday.

On Wednesday, the City Council pushed aside a measure that would have delayed the smoking ban for six months.

Several bar owners said they also feel pushed aside by the council. Almost a dozen bar owners signed up to speak about the topic, but they were not allowed to talk because the measure was deferred.

Several angry bar owners stormed out of the council chambers.

"I'm proud to be a business owner in Dallas," said Al DaDamio, the owner of Al's Hideaway in North Dallas. "I really am, but today, I'm embarassed for the city."

DaDamio has owned his bar for several years and is building a patio out back for his smoking patrons. But DaDamio said the City Council doesn't realize that getting bids, blueprints and a bank loan for a patio isn't an overnight process.

"We don't agree with the four months to comply," he said. "It takes more than four months just to get to the permit process, as far as getting bid and quotes. And it's not cheap -- $30,000 and then some. Funds are hard to come by, people are getting turned down by banks."

DaDamio said he is afraid he'll lose his customers and their money to surrounding areas. His bar is only a few blocks from the city of Addison, where smoking is still allowed in bars.

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