Where you can and can't smoke in Lubbock will soon change.
"When the ordinance was first passed we had over 400 permits for smoking and now that's down to about 200. And we expect it to drop after the 22nd as well, when people realize they don't want to separately enclose and ventilate a room to allow smoking," says City Environmental Health Manager Bridget Faulkenberry.
Faulkenberry says every business that plans to continue to allow smoking will have to close off a room, and have separate ventilation. "It effects all businesses in Lubbock, not just restaurants," says Faulkenberry.
One restaurant making a big change is 50th Street Caboose. "We're catering to both people," says Ann Burum, Bookkeeper for 50th Sreet Caboose.
According to Burum, they are right in the middle of a $100,000 remodel. They are enclosing, what used to be the game room to cater to smoking, and shuffling around the games on the inside. "I think it's going to help boost numbers quite a bit because more people are wanting to sit in an environment that is smoke free," says Burum.
According to the Health Department, several establishments are expected to make this kind of change including Buffalo Wild Wings, Moose Magoos, Don Pablos, Texas Cafe, 50 Yard Line and Whitewood Lanes, and Brunswick Bowl. But most establishments will be making the switch to "smoke free" come next week, like Cheddars, Applebees, On the Border and Abuelos.
"There will be a few problems. Some people have told us that they will not comply. So we'll be taking care of those as we can," says Faulkenberry.
If an establishment is caught in violation after next Thursday, they can be fined up to$2,000 per violation. And the Health Department says they will be checking for violations based on complaints.