Saltimbocca's blames closing on smoking ban

There are 20 comments on the Apr 20, 2007, Fort Worth Star-Telegram story titled Saltimbocca's blames closing on smoking ban. In it, Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that:

The city's smoking ban seems to be hitting independent restaurants hardest. Brett Russell, co-owner of Saltimbocca's Italian restaurant in southwest Arlington, said that after the ban went into effect Jan.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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Rick Johnson

United States

#1 Apr 21, 2007
Saltimbocca's drove away their non-smoking customers long ago. I went there once and swore I'd never return because of the second hand smoke drifting from the bar into eating areas. If they hadn't alienated non-smokers early on they could have weathered the smoking ban. All I can say is good riddance. I support the smoking ban and will vote to re-elect Dr. Cluck precisely because of the smoking ban.
Scott York

Grand Rapids, MI

#2 May 8, 2007
Closed-minded idiots will always support total bans of things they don't like. God forbid you don't get your way and never have to smell one whiff of smoke again. I have been researching this for 6 months now and have found literally hundreds of businesses that have shut down because of bans like this. I have also found thousands of employees who lost their jobs and millions in revenues lost by the business owners and their respective states. So you go ahead and keep thinking these total bans are a good idea, I just hope you remember what you said when that bums rips you off to buy a sandwich. You should recognize him, he used to work at one of those places that closed.
Another thought

Fort Worth, TX

#3 May 23, 2007
It would have had something to do with the atrocious service, unresponsive management and lackluster professionalism.

Just a thought though...
txpatriot

Irving, TX

#4 May 26, 2007
Poorly run businesses ALWAYS blame it on something else - never their own failures.
txpatriot

Irving, TX

#5 May 26, 2007
Scott York wrote:
Closed-minded idiots will always support total bans of things they don't like. God forbid you don't get your way and never have to smell one whiff of smoke again. I have been researching this for 6 months now and have found literally hundreds of businesses that have shut down because of bans like this. I have also found thousands of employees who lost their jobs and millions in revenues lost by the business owners and their respective states. So you go ahead and keep thinking these total bans are a good idea, I just hope you remember what you said when that bums rips you off to buy a sandwich. You should recognize him, he used to work at one of those places that closed.
In your "research" have you learned ANYTHING about the dangers of smoking?

I couldn't care less about ANY establishment closing when smoking bans are implemented; it's more likely that the closings are due to poor management, bad service, lousy product. They just use the ban to place the blame elsewhere.

It is TRULY pathetic if a stupid human being cannot get through a one hour meal without smoking a damn cigarette. Losers.
BJ stands

Dallas, TX

#6 Jun 6, 2007
Allowing for everyone's opinion, means that one group can outvote another. The idealism which thinks and considers all things before stomping to voice an opinion, or point a finger seems to be a lost wisdom in this age. The owner here simply voiced his based on the profits and the begin date verses other times.

Rick Johnson the sound of your text makes it sound as though "smoking" was new to you or new to Texas. Texas IS one of the states with the higher incidence of smoking. Should you accept it? Perhaps not, as your personal choice allows. but let me assume that you DID eat out prior to ban #1 and this current ban. Did you never eat out because you were so disgusted? I think not. As I said.. Texas.

TX Patriot- Taking the tone does little justice to someone seeking to make a living, providing service and jobs. The owners’ expression of how his income changed is not different from how most business report their earnings. or when oil prices soar due to.. X, XX, XXX. It is slightly irresponsible to denounce someone's business. One goes from passionate to accusatory/defensive when they do not feel their position is solid.

If you do not care for the place okay. I personally enjoyed the atmosphere of small/community. Local place to sit, chat, and listen to live music. And the food on most visits was very good. although admittedly not up to par in last -2- months before their closing. But who knows what costs they were trying to cut to stay open at that time.

smoking is a hazardous thing. and a thing of choice. much as DRINKING. Going OUT to a bar KNOWing that when you do so you’ll be driving home. Or at a sporting event? OR eating MEAT (if you are an animal rights advocate)

IF those researches can find a way to filter the air.. would it remove car fumes? Texas is one the most polluted states. THAT is killing the overall population as well. "I'm anti so you have to be anti" become headed with there is no mutual respect for one opinion over another. It becomes accusatory and fanatical that should pause you more. someone might form a group to which you are a member and with the same zeal.
txpatriot

Dallas, TX

#7 Jun 7, 2007
BJ stands wrote:
Did you never eat out because you were so disgusted? I think not. As I said.. Texas.
That's a narrow assumption on your part that someone would never "not eat out" because they were disgusted by the smoke and smell. I cannot answer for the other poster, but I can tell you that we absolutely have chosen NOT to dine in establishments where the stench was obvious. The worst were those where the smoking area was at the front of the restaurant and the smell was the first impression when you entered and non-smokers had to walk through the stench to get to the non-smoking area, which was just stupid planning. Now if Fort Worth will just pass a total ban, no more smoking in any establishment and non-smokers won't have to walk through a door where a rude smoker is standing.
txpatriot

Dallas, TX

#8 Jun 7, 2007
BJ stands wrote:
It is slightly irresponsible to denounce someone's business. One goes from passionate to accusatory/defensive when they do not feel their position is solid.
It is ABSOLUTELY the right AND obligation of consumers to 'denounce' a business if that business is failing to provide good service, products, safe environment, etc. This country is full of lousy businesses, run by corrupt people, doling out third-rate service and products, trying to scam people, often succeeding in doing so.

In this case, the owner would likely have had no problem whatsoever in building and maintaining a consistently solid customer base for dining, IF the food and service and atmosphere were top-notch. Evidently, that wasn't the case, so business drops, and an easy out is to blame "the ban".

Being passionate about an issue often requires the use of defensive tones. That's the nature of a debate.
Vee

Fort Worth, TX

#9 Jul 18, 2007
Hmmmmm. Freedom of speech and dialogue are a wonderful thing. I've eaten at Saltimbocca more than a few times during lunch, and never experienced the smoking environment interfering with any of the pleasant and tasteful lunches I enjoyed. But, the last time I had lunch there it was absolutely horrible and sickening.
zeta

Dallas, TX

#10 Mar 11, 2008
If a restaurant goes out of business because some patrons rate smoking above the service/food/price package- that is a sure sign that there were significant problems with service, food and price. And it is a sure sign that the smokers did not think that the service/food/price was good enough to offset not lighting up for one hour.
ZZZZZZZZZZ

Arlington, TX

#11 Mar 12, 2008
LOL it wasnt the food...surellllllly
D Russell

Godley, TX

#12 Jun 18, 2008
I am curious of the lack of tolerance and judgemental approach of some people. My name is Don Russell and was a co-owner of Saltimbocca's Italian Bistro. A resident of Arlington since the mid 1970s, I decided along with my son to open an upscale restaurant in an admittedly challenging location. Our chef had been trained all over the world and our wine list was solid with an extensive selection from all regions. I invested over $500,000 in this venture including a smoke filtration system mandated by the city of Arlington and tested to insure that a smoke "curtain" was in place not allowing any smoke to exit the bar area. I spent $35,000 on this system. Over the course of the three years of operation we achieved a break even year in 2006. The Arlington smoking ban went into effect on Jan.1,2007. My bar area sales generated 35% of the total revenue of the restaurant. From the 1st of January my sales fell 48% in the bar area. Not many businesses can take a hit like that. I resent the uneducated comment that anything other than the ban was the direct cause of the business failure.
During the term of our business I supported several local charity events from hosting the Arlington Animal Shelter funds drive to hosting the Great Group of Dental Health Arlington. We were civic minded and I was proud of the product we presented to our patrons. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with any group or city contemplating such a ban. I personally dont smoke and dont like eating in a smokey enviornment. Ours was not, but if because people did smoke in our restaurant a consumer should have the right to not be required to dine there. There is not a reason, in my belief, that the city government be the smoking police. I lost a lifetime of savings in this venture and I can assure the most opinionated that the smoking ban was the reason for the failure. We were not without opportunity to improve and no place is exempt from making some customers dissatisfied on some occasions. I apologize to any patron who did not experience a great time at Saltimbocca's.

To the "without fault holier than thou asses" that say good ridance I would enjoy the opportunity to see you in pain from an experience such as mine.
Drr

Godley, TX

#13 Jun 18, 2008
Rick Johnson wrote:
Saltimbocca's drove away their non-smoking customers long ago. I went there once and swore I'd never return because of the second hand smoke drifting from the bar into eating areas. If they hadn't alienated non-smokers early on they could have weathered the smoking ban. All I can say is good riddance. I support the smoking ban and will vote to re-elect Dr. Cluck precisely because of the smoking ban.
This guy is truely a fine citizen of Burleson--By the way, How will you vote for Mayor Cluck who holds office in Arlington? Your lack of knowledge regarding where you live and your mayor surely must transcend to your judgement of this restaurant. The restaurant had a smoke filtration system required by the city of Arlington at a cost of over $35,000 and was regularly tested to insure that a smoke curtain was working to keep all smoke in the bar area. Even if yoiu did not like the fact that some people smoke and were patrons there no one made you stay. Or did you dine with your Burleson Mayor Cluck?
Rep

United States

#14 Jun 19, 2008
Does anyone know what percent of people smoke? I thought everyone was quiting. The only people I see smoking now are the homeless and really old wrinkled people.
Rep

United States

#15 Jun 19, 2008
Found it - so 20 to 25 percent of Americans make all the businesses go broke when they ban smoking. I guess if you've got enough money to just burn it you've got enough to eat dinner outside of McDonalds.
Most of the smokers have a GED. Well there you go.

# Among non-Hispanic whites, 24.0 percent of men and 20.0 percent of women smoke (2004).
# Among non-Hispanic blacks, 26.7 percent of men and 17.3 percent of women smoke.
# Among Hispanics, 21.1 percent of men and 11.1 percent of women smoke.
# Among Asians (only), 20.6 percent of men and 6.1 percent of women smoke.
# Among American Indians/Alaska Natives, 37.5 percent of men and 26.8 percent of women smoke.
# Studies show that smoking prevalence is higher among those who had earned a GED diploma (43.2 percent) and among those with 9–11 years of education (32.6 percent) compared with those with more than 16 years of education (7.1 percent). It's highest among persons living below the poverty level (29.9 percent)
JeffWJS

Fort Worth, TX

#16 Jun 19, 2008
For the record - I enjoyed the place and ate there many times. As did my parents. Smoke was never a problem. The food was good and the service was fine. We miss the place.
Drr

Godley, TX

#17 Jun 20, 2008
rep--FYI,the categorization of people who enjoyed Saltimboccas a either white, or black, or hispanic and having a GED colors with a broad brush and has nothing to do with understanding the issue. As an example there were 2 groups of AISD teachers who were regulars at the restaurant at least twice per week after work. In one group of 8 there was but 1 smoker and in the other group of 6 there were 2 smokers. They sat in the bar area, which was the smoking section and socialized. They all came there as a group and sat in the bar to facilitate the needs of only 3 of the 14.
After Jan. 1, 2007 the date of the smoking ban neither group ever came back to the restaurant as a group. They went to On The Border in Mansfield where the entire group would be comfortable.
For you insenuation that they must be uneducated or of a particular race does little to truely examine the social issue of smoking and even more the effect of a smoking ban in a place of business.
Rep

United States

#18 Jun 20, 2008
So your group helped close the place down and you're well educated and smoke. Whatever floats your boat and good for you. The statistics are all wrong or the smokers lead you away like pied pipers (literally).
spit

United States

#19 Jun 20, 2008
Drr wrote:
rep--FYI,the categorization of people who enjoyed Saltimboccas a either white, or black, or hispanic and having a GED colors with a broad brush and has nothing to do with understanding the issue. As an example there were 2 groups of AISD teachers who were regulars at the restaurant at least twice per week after work. In one group of 8 there was but 1 smoker and in the other group of 6 there were 2 smokers. They sat in the bar area, which was the smoking section and socialized. They all came there as a group and sat in the bar to facilitate the needs of only 3 of the 14.
After Jan. 1, 2007 the date of the smoking ban neither group ever came back to the restaurant as a group. They went to On The Border in Mansfield where the entire group would be comfortable.
For you insenuation that they must be uneducated or of a particular race does little to truely examine the social issue of smoking and even more the effect of a smoking ban in a place of business.
Use the patch and quit.
Drr

Godley, TX

#20 Jun 20, 2008
spit wrote:
<quoted text>
Use the patch and quit.
You are amazingly intellectual in your perspective of the issue.

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