Remember those silly beer ads from a few years back in which light beer drinkers frantically ran into the streets shouting "I can't taste my beer," as Miller Lite drinkers bemusedly looked on?
It was the reverse, last night, at the Galaxy Hut in Arlington, Virginia. A fellow beer drinker exclaimed: "I can smell my beer!" December 1st was the first day of Virginia's state-wide ban on smoking in restaurants. Of course, the drinker was referring to a full-flavored beer.
All bars are covered by the ban, because in Virginia, there are no alcohol-only bars: the establishments must serve food. There are exemptions, however. For example, smoking will be allowed in
Any portion of a restaurant that is constructed in a manner that the area where smoking is permitted is structurally separated from the non-smoking areas of the restaurant and separately vented to prevent the recirculation of air from the smoking area to the non-smoking area. At least one public entrance must be into an area where smoking is not permitted.
Private clubs, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), are exempt. Establishments such as bowling alleys that prepare snack food could simply stop, and thus become exempt from the ban.