The Tennessee Smoking Ban – 60 Days In

This is definitely a question geared more towards the TN local crowd, if indeed we have one, but has anyone noticed a marked decline in business to restaurants since the smoking ban went into effect on October 1? I ask as Mark from This Is Smyrna brought something to my attention that I find hard to believe:

I have just found out that Toot’s has closed it’s Cookeville Tn location because they have lost 20% of business due to the smokers not able to smoke in their restaurant. Now my question is this? Will they be closing other locations as well. Go and read more Toot’s closing it’s doors in Cookeville, Tn.

As an MTSU alum, Toot’s and Demos’ were as second nature as Beat The Clock at The ‘Boro and Fleming & John at 527 Main Street. The Demos’ Nashville location was even the opener for Prickfest, so the thought of those guys being financially inept or inexperienced is a little hard to believe.

Personally, I’m seeing businesses that would ordinarily be lined out the door closing up shop by 9pm on weeknights. Is it just me or are the Nanny Staters driving small business owners to bankruptcy court on a toll road paved with authoritarian intentions?


  1. If it’s closing, it’s because they suck at running a restaurant or Nashville isn’t enforcing the smoking ban well enough. Smokers still have to eat, and we’ve had a smoking ban in Louisville for awhile, but our businesses are still open.

  2. Just like Charlie Peppers in Knoxville closed it Doors after what I think 15 years?? something like that…. Nashville aint Loueyville (LOL) Ron the folks go there sit and talk and smoke, order drinks, smoke some more order drinks smoke some more now its order eat and leave no more sitting and talking because some left wing nut case wants to run someone life it should be up to the each resturant owner… then Let the people decide where to go… if you don’t like smoke go some where else.

  3. You won’t see a decline unless there are options. If one rest. is non-smoking and one is smoking, then you could judge the effect of a ban.

    When you ban smoking in ALL of them, people will still get out and eat, so you can’t tell what the ban does to business.

  4. now its order eat and leave no more sitting and talking

    If that’s the case, you’d think restaurants would be doing better because they’d be turning the tables over more quickly.

  5. Before they closed, Charlie Peppers in Knoxville had chosen to side with the smokers and limit their business to patrons 21 and up. That might not have been the best decision for a restaurant next to a college campus with plenty of students under 21 years old.

    Toot’s in Smyrna could have also chosen to cater to smokers by going 21 and up. Instead, they blamed the smoking ban for their problems.

    Personally, I will always try to avoid businesses that allow smoking. The poisonous stench is unbearable.

  6. While they are sitting and talking they are DRINKING AND DRINKING… not saying its good behavior but it is what happening… I’m just saying people should have a choice smoking bans, can’t spank your childen, no trans fats, they want your guns… is the Taliban in charge

  7. Well, I’m not a smoker anymore for the most part. Once in a blue moon I’ll have one with a Blue Moon or four but we are talking about a legal drug here.

    The fact of the matter is that it’s legal and people can both smoke and drink and it happens all of the time. Telling people who and how they are allowed to serve can cripple somebody on a tight margin. And I don’t think people are clamoring for smoking laws, I think legislators like to claim they accomplished something and picking on cigarettes and alcohol is in vogue.

    At some point, some smart tobacco company needs to start bootlegging and then we can all tap on the speakeasy backdoor to buy bathtub gin and a pack of non-tax stamped Lucky’s.

    First they came after the Camels and I didn’t care because I was not a smoker, then they came for the tallboys and I didn’t care because I by high dollar imports, then they came for the Krispy Kremes….

  8. Frank Murphy:

    Personally, I will always try to avoid businesses that allow smoking. The poisonous stench is unbearable.

    Well good for you Mary Sunshine. Personally I will always try to avoid people that are supercillious, holier-than-thou and vocal about it. Their poisonous thoughts and words are unbearable. I don’t like cheap cologne so I demand that we outlaw it in movie theaters. Exhaust fumes smell bad and contain carbon monoxide: no car for you.

    Seriously, take the stick out. Every single time you give up any of your liberty to anyone or anything ( local, state or federal) it is gone forever and they will consider it a starting point. This country was founded on tobacco, and instead of turkey for Thanksgiving we should be lighting up.

    ‘Cept you, you can just lighten up. Do you make those fake cough/hacking noises when you walk by a smoker on the street? I bet you do.

  9. I just realized today that since the smoking ban went into effect I have been out to eat a total of 3 times. Before October my girlfriend(a non-smoker) and I went out for dinner about 4 nights every week.
    I have asked fellow smokers if they went out to eat as often. Everyone said they ate out less than half as often. On the other hand, the non-smokers said they are not going out to eat twice as much now. It makes sense that people are going out of business and will continue to do so for a while. Then everyone will get used to it.
    Next comes making tobacco completely illeagle. Then many more businesses will be shut down, but over time we will get used to it.
    After that, perhaps the lawmakers will start deciding who can have children. I know it sounds crazy but we will get used to it.

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