Bars Build Shelters For SmokersSeveral bars in the city are building heated patios to accommodate everyone after the city passed a smoking ban a couple months ago.
Smokers in Grand Forks looking for a place to stay warm while at the bars now have shelter from the harsh elements.
Several bars in the city are building heated patios to accommodate everyone after the city passed a smoking ban a couple months ago.
Bar owners we talked with say building the shelters helps business, and smokers really appreciate the convenience.
Once the smoking ban went into effect in Grand Forks a couple months ago some bars started building shelters right away.
"We have a heater out here as you can see it's not going to keep toasty, toasty warm but comfortable while their out here having their cigarette," Johnny's Lounge manager Jeanie Vigen said.
Johnny's Lounge spent thousands of dollars building the patio. Workers say it's well worth it.
"I've been working here for 2 years and people always thought we were going to lose customers, but when they're loyal to your bar, they'll be here," smoker Brittany Russell said.
"We've gained more business with having this. I know the other bars in town have just kind of started putting theirs up, a few other ones," Vigen said.
Other bars like Joe Black's. Construction hasn't started yet but owners hope to have something built by the end of this week.
"We're going to put heaters in there; we might have some tables in there." Co-owner Joe Schneider said.
The bar is spending around $2,000 on the build for several different reasons.
"For convenience, it helps for appearance too. Not having a lot of people right outside your front smoking. It also helps us with the cleanup of it," Schneider said.
And for those reasons, bar owners are willing to spend thousands of dollars to accomodate everyone.
"It's more than what my dad had anticipated but it's been worth it for the customers," Vigen said.
There are certain regulations for the smoking huts. For instance alcohol cannot be served inside the shelter, but smokers can bring their drinks after being served inside the bar.