Smoke-free Restaurants in Pennsylvania

[Note: scroll to the end of this post to see the restaurant list.]

The Allentown location of Carrabba’s Italian Grill has gone completely smoke-free!  Kim and I went there for dinner the other night, and when I asked (as I always do) to be seated as far from the smoking section as possible, the hostess replied that there’s no longer a smoking section!  Tears of joy streamed down my face.  And just when I thought that the day couldn’t get any better, they had swordfish on the specials menu.  It was amazing, as swordfish tends to be.

Carrabba’s has been one of my favorite restaurants for almost 10 years, and the only bad thing about it was the cigarette smoke.  With that issue resolved, I intend to visit Carrabba’s much more often.  I called the manager the next day to express my support for the decision, and to ask what made them do it; he said that more and more people were complaining about the smoke, and the majority of their patrons are non-smokers, so it was a good business decision for them to make.

Indeed, nearly 80% of Pennsylvanians are non-smokers.  It’s always been absurd that smokers were allowed to foul the air with toxins in public places, but it’s especially absurd in light of how outnumbered they are.  That being the case, the Pennsylvania legislature had better get their act together and pass a statewide smoking ban this fall.  Not only is it obviously the correct thing to do since second-hand smoke kills people by the thousands, but it’s also what the vast majority of the population wants.

If the government fails to take responsibility in this area, then I sure hope that more restaurants will do it themselves.  Carrabba’s is currently the only real restaurant to have gone smoke-free in our area.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, all the other restaurants that we visit still allow smoking: Applebee’s, Chili’s, Grotto Pizza, the Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday’s, TGI Friday’s.  (The website has a list of smoke-free restaurants, but the vast majority of them are McDonald’s, Burger King, etc -- not real restaurants.)

Smoke-Free Restaurant List:

These are restaurants that I know are totally non-smoking from first-hand experience.  Note that "restaurants" like McDonald’s, Burger King, etc, will not be listed here.

Carrabba’s on Cedar Crest Boulevard in Allentown; smoke-free as of Sept 2007.

Bravo at the Lehigh Valley Mall in Whitehall; smoke-free since its opening in Sept 2007.

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