Rathskeller smoked out

Christina Stavale

Kim Dischinger, sophomore business management major, smokes a cigarette outside the doors of the Student Center. According to the new smoking ban, she, along with all smokers statewide, must remain at least 20 feet from all entrances. HEATHER STAWICKI | D

Credit: John Proppe

On a Wednesday evening a mere 15 people filled the Rathskeller.

No special events were going on to attract a big crowd, but this was a huge difference since before Dec. 7, said Matt Ameer, a bartender at the Rathskeller.

Last month, the SmokeFreeOhio smoking ban went into effect, prohibiting smoking in public places. The question remains whether or not the ban will hurt business in restaurants, bars and other popular hangouts throughout Kent.

“It’s hard to tell if sales are down, but less people come here to just talk and hangout,” said Ameer, who is a senior English and psychology major.

He said on normal nights before the ban went into effect, a large number of students came to the Rathskeller to smoke while they studied, chatted or just hung out.

“This was the one shelter we (smokers) had,” sophomore exploratory major William Gadd said.

Gadd, a regular at the Rathskeller, still visits often, but said things have changed a lot since Dec. 7.

He said he thinks the smoking ban will and already has affected businesses in some places.

Junior education major Judd Bernardo, also a smoker, agreed.

“I understand the reasons for the smoking ban, but there’s a lot more people who are disappointed,” he said.


• Zephyr Pub

• Mugs Brew Pub

& Sports Grill Restaurant

• Venice Restaurant


• BW3’s

• Water Street Tavern

• Ray’s Place

• The Loft

However, Tobin Rogers, general manager of Mike’s Place in Kent, said he hasn’t really noticed a change in business since the ban went into effect.

“The only thing I’ve noticed is people in the bar don’t stay as long,” he said.

Still, some smokers find the smoking ban to be an inconvenience when they dine at a restaurant.

“It’s a pain,” Gadd said. “Some places make you pay your bill before you step outside.”

Bernardo said he does not mind going outside to smoke during a meal if the restaurant allows it, but he also said he doesn’t go as often to restaurants he used to frequent.

Contact news correspondent Christina Stavale at [email protected].