Niet alleen uit New York komen berichten over de kwalijke effecten van de rookverboden maar ook uit Boston, waar in mei een algeheel rookverbod werd uitgevaardigd. Uitbaters staan bij de gemeente in de rij om terrasvergunningen aan te vragen omdat de klandizie spectaculair is teruggelopen sinds die tijd.
A year ago, a typical weekday afternoon at the Hyde Park Pub would have meant dozens of construction workers lined up along its horseshoe-shaped bar, watching ”NYPD Blue” reruns on the television propped up in the corner or waiting for a turn at the pool table.
Now, however, nearly four months after Boston imposed its smoking ban on bars and restaurants, the 70-year-old neighborhood hangout is nearly deserted. Two-thirds of its business has disappeared along with the haze of blue smoke that used to hang in the air. And so the owners are appealing to the city for a last-ditch effort to save the pub: outdoor seating where its regular customers can light up like they used to.
”We’re hanging on by the skin of our teeth,” owner Chris Nemet said. ”If they don’t allow the patio, I don’t know how we’re going to get through this thing.”