Do restaurants with wood ovens violate smoking bans?
Apparently, in Ohio they do. This piece from an alert reader. It’s from a Local 12 television station in Ohio. (2010 – link removed – no longer valid)
Warning letters are now going out to local restaurants accused of violating Ohio’s voter-approved smoking ban. One local restaurateur who got a warning says his restaurant is smoke-free, but fears another source of smoke triggered his letter. Will DeLuca says he was born in his family’s Norwood pizzeria, Sorrento’s. He’s named his own restaurant, Betta, after his mother. Regulars like Kevin Brigger can tell you why they think this place is, for them, a little slice of Italy.
“Because the food with the wood burning, it’s a different style,” said Kevin Brigger. “Different taste you usually don’t get with most Italian restaurants.” “In Italy it is the way to cook pizza,” said Will DeLuca. “You won’t find a place in Italy that cooks pizza other ways.” And that way is in DeLuca’s wood-fired pizza oven. But hold the anchovies, DeLuca says he’s got a problem.
This week, the Ohio Department of Health sent him a warning letter, that he’s in violation of the state’s new smoking ban. “I’ve never allowed smoking in my restaurant,” said DeLuca. “We’ve been open over three years. I’ve never allowed smoking.” But DeLuca does burn wood…oak, in his oven. The smoking ban states no one shall burn tobacco or “any other plant,” oak, included.
Will DeLuca called the Ohio Department of Health to ask the obvious question. “It’s not a mistake. I asked her if it was a mistake, and she said it wasn’t. She was very serious. I asked her, are you putting me out of business? She said you should draft a letter stating what you are doing there and we’ll go from there.”
Now, one restaurant owner must explain how his no-smoking pizzeria relies on a wood-fired oven, while other area bars are still allowing customers to cigarettes. “I found out early on, life isn’t fair. And this is just another example of how you got to keep kicking, scratching, crawling to survive and that’s what we’ll do.”
A perfect example of bureaucracy.
The OLCC, has decided to ban minors from the 2007 Oregon Beer Festival.
Blogs are buzzing with chat from irate people. As the below e-mail points out, by banning children, less families will attend, and with less families in attendance, more of a rowdy adult party atmosphere is sure to follow. The Oregon Beer Festival has become a huge regional draw and tourist destination for our city, and this decision may ultimately negatively decrease revenue, not only at the festival but at hotels, restaurants, and other related industries.
Many of you may have heard about the recent OLCC ruling on not allowing minors at the summer beer festival. To me what made the Oregon Beer Festival so special was the family atmosphere. It was not an adult “party” in a convention center, it was like a German beer garden in the summer of food and family and fun. Low key and proud of it.
While the OLCC has made this ruling, there is still time to change or amend it before this summer. I am enlclosing a bunch of email addresses for you and a copy of my letter to OLCC if you would like to join me in protest of a very silly decision that, in the end will make it more of a party. Please pass this email onto other people who you feel may want to get involved.
OLCC Permit Coordinator
POVA- Portland Oregon Visitors Association
Deborah Hall Wakefield, APR
Director of Communications and Public Relations
On 18th and Alberta next to Random Order Coffee, a new restaurant is opening. Rumor is it will be called Zilla Sake. Not too far from there, a new ChaChaCha has opened at NE 45th and Fremont. This one is fully staffed with servers.