Oklahoma City’s first food truck park, Bleu Garten, will be going smoke-free when it reopens its doors on March 1.
The Midtown hotspot is responding to “overwhelming” requests from customers to go smoke-free, making it one of a number of bars in OKC that have switched to a cleaner atmosphere.
“We love the family-friendly atmosphere of our business, and we just felt it was our duty to give our patrons a clean environment,” says Jamie Lynn Hyde, Bleu Garten’s general manager of operations.
“Over the years, we left it in our customers' hands to be respectful of people around them – we always struggled with the idea of telling people they couldn't smoke outside.”
Customers will find no-smoking signs around the venue, and will be asked to step outside its gates to smoke, when the full-time food truck court at NW 10 and Harvey reopens for its 2018 season.
Kathleen Thomas from Free The Night adds Bleu Garten to the list of venues she has helped go smoke-free in OKC.
"The fact is that fewer than 20 percent of Oklahomans are smokers, while more than 80 percent of them want to be in a smoke-free environment on their night out,” she says. “Free The Night is just trying to put a voice to the community's demands, and remind bar and club owners that catering to the minority is a bad business decision.
"We are not working on laws or bans, or trying to force businesses to do anything they do not want to do. All we are trying to do is present the facts to bar and club owners, and hope that they make the best decision for the health of their customers, employees and entertainers."
Other OKC venues that Free the Night has helped to go smoke-free, include Sipango Lounge, JJ’s Alley and most recently The Other Room bar, next to The Paseo’s Picasso Café.
“On the heels of a small facelift to the space, we decided now was the time to go non-smoking,” says Shaun Fiaccone, The Other Room proprietor. “Not only for our staff's quality of life, but frankly for our guests, as well – even those who choose to smoke. By providing a place where people could smoke indoors, we were, in effect, enabling those poor health choices – and that didn't seem right.”
The Other Room will be marking its new smoke-free space with a celebration filled with free appetizers on Feb. 10. More information can be found here.
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