As I first noted on Twitter yesterday, Keys Lounge has gone smoke-free.
It's significant because only a few Fort Worth venues currently prohibit smoking indoors during performances -- the Live Oak, Magnolia Motor Lounge, McDavid Studio and the Billy Bob's showroom immediately spring to mind -- and lately, in cities around Texas, there's been a push to ban smoking outright in bars and clubs (Austin banned smoking inside restaurants, bars and live music venues eight years ago). Naturally, the movement has met with resistance from those who don't appreciate being told when and where they can smoke.
Nevertheless, Keys Lounge owner Danny Ross confirmed the smoking ban today: "I had (the Led Zeppelin tribute band) Swan Song in a month ago and they requested it and we had no complaints," he says via email. "But we have discussed [it] many times, [and] were worried about the crowd. But [we] had very positive [reaction] on the web site and Facebook, but last night, I had several regulars say they would not be back. But I have to believe we will gain more. It has been a big complaint; I'm there, my son is the manager and it's just healthier and gets rid of the smell! ... We hope everyone will support this move."
Perhaps the Keys, a well-respected venue in the community, will trigger a renewed interest in other popular clubs and bars revisiting their smoking policies.