Fountain bar goes "smoke free" for the night to accommodate a Little Rock coalition

Fountain bar goes "smoke free" for the night to accommodate a Little Rock coalition

Normally the Hillcrest Fountain is a smoking establishment but if you were to go tonight, you'd see a sign right on the door that says we will be non-smoking today until later tonight.

Fountain owner Daniel Bryant sees the irony.

"I could see why that could be contradictory," he said.

That his bar, which normally allows smoking, is hosting Smoke Free Little Rock, a coalition aiming to pass smoke-free ordinances with city, and their event, in the same place where smoke is normally welcomed.

"Just to give them a higher profile way to get the word out to get their message out is fine, it doesn't hurt us for one night," said Bryant.

For one night, they have chosen to go smoke free to accommodate the group.

"We are so proud of what the fountain is doing here," Joyce Raynor, executive director of the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits, said.

Raynor says creating smoke free environments opens up new places for more people to visit.

"You want to visit and patronize the local businesses and this is a good opportunity," she said. "When establishments, homes, cars are smoke free, that reduces the risk of lung cancer, throat cancer and so many other cancers."

But this isn't permanent, because the fountain will be smoking once again.

"I’m sure they would like me to take it a step further and say tomorrow we're going to go non-smoking but, just like anybody else, they're happy for incremental steps and we're all moving forward," Bryant said.

Now I also spoke with the general manager with Midtown Billiards, which is a smoking establishment, and he said it's a matter a preference for the customer. So if they don't want to smoke, they don't have to go to a smoking establishment.

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