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Smoker-friendly pubs...

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by SteveH, May 26, 2013.

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  1. SteveH

    SteveH Active Member

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    ...or bars, or whatever you call boozers in your neck of the woods: recommend them here.

    Firstly, the Thatcher's Arms, great Warley, near Brentwood, Essex: a good real-ale pub, where the Pipe Club of London meets on the third Saturday of every month. It has a large smoking shelter out front, with two standard pub-garden-style table-and-bench combinations in it, and heating available for inclement weather, and more tables outside, in the open air, for clement weather. It serves up to four real ales, including a guest from a newly-added fourth pump, and does good food too. The guest on Saturday (which was a fourth Saturday, but it's usually the third) was Adnam's 'Broadside', and jolly good it was too.
    The Crabree, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. This is my local, a mere two-minute walk from my house. It's an Ember Inn. Usually three or four real ales (though I think they can do up to seven) - I've just had a pint of Bateman's 'Yella Belly' there, and excellent it was too. Also good food. Smoking facilities: large garden out front, lots of tables, and a substantial smoker's shelter for bad weather - but it contains no seating, and the cross-shaped table is about four feet high, and clearly intended to be stood at. This is inconvenient and stupid. Maybe it's the standard Ember Inns design, but it's still stupid. Good pub in other respects, though not the cheapest.
    The Full House, Hemel Hempstead. My local Wetherspoons, and it has both the virtues and the faults common to all 'spoons, plus one extra fault all its own - hideous decor (to my eyes, anyway). Virtues: cheap (by modern standards), well-served, ever-changing selection of real ales, and a good selection of real cider as well, and good food - the standard 'spoons menu. Faults - barn-like interior (it used to be the local cinema: I prefer something a bit more intimate), and inadequate lighting, as well as the aforementioned horrible decor - sort of goth-meets-sci-fi. Nevertheless, I go there about once a week. Smoking facilities: limited, but not their fault: they do what they can with what they've got. Small patio out front, with wooden tables with limited weather-protection.
    The Rising Sun, Berkhamsted. I've never actually been to this one, despite it being only a few miles from me - an omission I must rectify soon, as it is last year's CAMRA national pub of the year, and is particularly noted as a cider pub - an enthusiasm of mine. It is known locally as 'The Riser', and, according to last year's CAMRA 'Good Beer Guide' (available in all reputable bookshops, as well as most disreputable ones) , one of its regular beers is 'Riser', from Tring Brewery, just down the road from them, and which I assume is brewed especially for them. I've read somewhere that it also sells quality cigars at the bar, so it is reasonable to assume that it's as smoker-friendly as the outrageous law of the land allows it to be. I will go there next Saturday, and report back.
     
  2. JoeSmall

    JoeSmall Member

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    I live in Maine. You're lucky you don't get burnt at the stake for smoking. If you're in your own car and have a cigarette you can't go through the fast food drive thru or the bank drive thru cause it's illegal to smoke within 20 feet of an access point to any public building. The only spot I know of to smoke is specially designated smoke shops. You're lucky you can smoke anywhere near a public place.
     
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  3. Jeff10236

    Jeff10236 Member

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    Here in MD it has been illegal to smoke in bars for years. I grew up in Columbia MD and lived there for several years as an adult. In the early to mid 1990s they had bars that wanted to allow smoking invest in expensive separate HVAC systems for the bar (where you could smoke) and the rest of the restaurant (where you couldn't) and of course, they had to wall off the bar area. These smoking areas had to be walled off and couldn't share any duct work with the non-smoking areas. Many bars and restaurants ended up going out of business (some that didn't make the changes due to the competition from the bars where you could smoke, others from the expense of following the law as setting up these smoking areas was far from cheap). Then, about 3 years later, they banned all smoking in public buildings, including bars :doh:

    Now, you can't smoke inside bars or other buildings open to the public. You can still smoke outside in most counties in MD. While many bars haven't set up anything and you have the cigarette smokers gathered in the front of the bar smoking, others have set up outdoor smoking areas. Some are just simple patio seating areas, where others are fairly elaborate with outdoor smoke pits or fireplaces and/or large outdoor kerosene heaters.

    While I most like to go to The Ebb Tide in Annapolis (good people) or The Whiskey (good bands), few places are set up as nice as Cadillac Ranch in Annapolis. It is a mediocre bar and 2nd rate corporate steak house, but the smoking area is hard to beat with a nice, comfortable outdoor lounge. It is equipped with comfortable outdoor chairs and sofas and a terrific fire pit. A close second is the Green Turtle (a local chain bar/restaurant) in Annapolis with comfortable chairs and outdoor sofas, big screen TV, and outdoor fireplace. It also has a tarp covering and kerosene heaters to protect you from the weather. It is second because when it is really cold they close up the tent walls and since it is enclosed you can't smoke.
     
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  4. Wideawake75

    Wideawake75 Member

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    In Texas, there are still many bars/ pubs/ etc. that allow smoking at least in certain areas. Probably my favorite close to the house would be The Goose's Acre on the Waterway and Market Street here in the Woodlands. It has a good beer selection, good food (I just tried a 'scotch egg' there, and it was awesome), and comfortable booths. You still draw the odd look when you light a pipe, but it quickly fades when everyone starts telling you the smell reminds them of some favorite Uncle or Grandpa.
     
  5. Tony Malerich

    Tony Malerich Sales Account

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    One of my favorite experiences on our trip a year and a half ago was enjoying my pipe during dinner at the Andreas Hofer Weinstube in Salzburg, Austria. Sadly nothing that I know of stateside. Maybe down in Virginia, still a big tobacco state, though with northern VA becoming more prominent in state politics that may not be the case.
     
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  6. gunsmoke

    gunsmoke Member

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    I wish! In the peoples republic of Illinois we haven't been able to smoke in a place of public imbibement in about 10 years. :thdn:
     
  7. mongo

    mongo Active Member

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    And I must say... it makes going out to dinner and bars a much more pleasant experience. We do have cigar stores with smoking lounges. Can't say I don't miss the smoke... even "non-smoking" vs. "smoking" sections of restaurants was a joke. It really didn't matter when you were seated close to the smoking section....
     
  8. gunsmoke

    gunsmoke Member

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    Let the restaurant owners/bar owners decide for themselves what their' policy should be. I don't have a problem abstaining from smoking in a smoke free restaurant if that is what the management has decided to do. But the state should not be able to dictate policy for bar /restaurant owners in their own establishments. Let the people make their own choice & let the chips fall where they may.
     
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  9. highstump

    highstump Active Member

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    You apparently don't understand how much sense that makes, especially since you are applying it to government. In Oregon the logic of the legislature is this. "If there is a harder or more complicated way of doing it we WILL find it; through research if necessary."
     
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  10. KingsTarantula

    KingsTarantula All about having fun!

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    There is a place I go every Friday night and relax as the week ends and the weekend is just beginning. It's in Lancaster Ca. It's called Foxys Southwest Steakhouse. We sit in what's considered the patio area. But the patio area is fully enclosed with glass windows all around so we can see the natural landscape of the flat desert and mountains in the background. Some friends come and smoke cigars and some pipes. The owner joins us as well usually with a cigar and sometimes with his pipe.

    What really does it for me is that the group welcomes everyone. Doesn't make a difference if anyone knows you or not you are welcome. People come and go when ever they want. The restaurant has a full bar and a ton of food to choose from if you would like to eat. The tables are round and about 10 feet diameter with a fire pit in the middle if we want it lit.

    To me this is the great place to relax and either have a cigar or puff my pipe. No one is to complain about the smoke either. If someone doesn't like the smoke they can be seated inside.
     
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  11. Wicker Man

    Wicker Man Active Member

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    So just because you don't like smoke you agree with a "blanket ban"
    Not bars for smokers and bars for non-smokers
    At this rate how soon before there's No Smoking ?
     
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  12. Jeff10236

    Jeff10236 Member

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    Probably not too far away. In the DC area many counties and cities ban outdoor smoking in public (or at least in many listed public areas), often even the parks are off limits. Meanwhile, I'm looking at apartments in Northern Virginia, and so far, every one that I've looked at (all Alexandria so I suspect it may be based on a local ordinance) bans smoking in your apartment or even outside the building or on your own balcony. Some of the larger ones do have smoking areas outside tucked into a remote corner of the complex. I know that legislation like that has passed in several of the more busy-body localities in the country.

    I suspect that this will spread throughout the DC area within the next few years, and within 5-10 years the only people who will have anywhere to smoke will be homeowners in single family houses (no townhouses or condos). Oh, that is if you keep your smoke inside and no one standing outside your house ever smells it. So, maybe 5-10 years of some freedom in parts of this area, then a few more years to spread to an area near you:mad:
     
  13. highstump

    highstump Active Member

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    Jeff, there will be exceptions. Capitol Hill comes to mind. (The bastages!) :mad:
     
  14. SteveH

    SteveH Active Member

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    I went to the 'Rising Sun', mentioned in the O.P., yesterday evening, it being a beautiful, warm sunny evening. To think I've lived in Hemel Hempstead for 38 years, and have never visited it before, though it's only six miles away - what a pub! Sign in the window, 'Havana Cigars Sold Here' - ha! That's something you can't, presumably, get Stateside - fine cigars from Uncle Fidel's Socialist Paradise! Inside, there's a small, L-shaped bar , with seven hand-pumps, five in use, and a list of the real ciders and perrys they sell - 17 ciders and five perrys! Bloody hell! I had a 'Yarlington Mill', no maker indicated, 7.0%a.b.v., medium, and Venton's medium, 6.0% a.b.v., both wonderful in their different ways ('Yarlington Mill' is a variety of cider apple, which, unlike most apples, cider or otherwise, is capable of making excellent cider on its own: most apples have to be mixed with other varieties).
    Smoking facilities: a large covered area to one side for inclement weather, plus lots of tables and chairs outside, alongside the canal. It's next to a lock on the Grand Union.
    Cycling home again, I met a bloke I know who was on his way to it, with his wife. He's from Washington (D.C., not Tyne and Weir). That's how good the Riser is - the bloke moved to England so he could be near it!
    So, if you're Berkhamsted way, I strongly recommend the 'Rising Sun', both for its smoking facilities, including cigars on sale, and for its excellent booze. Two minus points: only bar snacks in the way of food, and no disabled access. See its website - link in O.P.
     
  15. scopawl

    scopawl Member

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    Not too likely many of you fellas will be in Stockholm, but a favoured bar of mines is Niva 22 in the Fridhemsplan area. While I've not tried the food, the beer and cider (if you like the incredibly sweet Swedish-style) is cheap enough to make it worth a visit. No chance of ales, somewhat unsurprisingly; you'd need to go to an English bar for one of those, generally.
    Because it's a cheap bar across the street from the subway stop it seems to be pretty popular with pre-clubbers and the like on weekends, but it's big enough that I've never found myself unable to get a seat no matter the time or day I've been in.
    Ground level has a bar in the centre with seats around the walls and the roof terrace is the same size, which has sidings and roof which get brought up depending on weather, time of night, etc. Swedish law dictates that you have to smoke outside but the roof terrace, even with all the sides and roof up counts as outside because they're temporary (at least this is my understanding of it...) The terrace has its own bar anyway, so no need for the trek back inside when the glass runs dry.
     
  16. SteveH

    SteveH Active Member

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    If I'm ever in Stockholm, I'll try it!
     
  17. Longbottom

    Longbottom Member

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    Here in the Czech Republic smoking is still allowed in pubs. They've been talking about a smoking ban for years, but I doubt very much it will ever happen. So I often sneak over to the bar over the street for a nice glass of Litovel Maestro (a perfect mix of czech style lager and ale) and a pipe.
     
  18. SteveH

    SteveH Active Member

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    I'm on the next flight to Prague!
     
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  19. Stonewall

    Stonewall Active Member

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    Well post 2007 there's no smoking permitted in any restaurant or pub here, but most places have constructed an enclosed, heated/cooled patios to accommodate smokers.

    All this really makes me homesick for WV. I could walk out on my porch shoot off my pistol, smoke, drink, or whatever the hell I wanted. It was nice to really be free. I'm sorry for those of you who aren't.
     
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  20. Huby Springer

    Huby Springer Active Member

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    The Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara California. Smoked some fine Cigars right in the main lobby area. Wait a minute, that was 1995:puffy:
     
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