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Smoke ban dooms bars? Think again

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cincinnati.com wrote Smoke ban dooms bars? Think again

Thursday, July 10, 2008

By Jon Craig

Despite predictions the state smoking ban would doom Ohio bars, there are more places to drink now than before in Ohio. While many tavern owners complain the ban has cut into their profits, state liquor permit statistics don’t support that. The number of bars and restaurants that sell beer, wine and hard liquor is up over last year, according to the latest totals.

According to figures updated last week by the state Division of Liquor Control, there are 2,454 businesses that have permits to sell beer, wine and liquor — up from 2,394 in December 2006 and 2,351 last December.

Permit totals to sell alcohol for “on-premises consumption” – bars, bowling alleys and restaurants – also rose by 211 statewide since December 2006 and 103 since last December, according to state officials. Further, state liquor control officials say new permits and renewals also are up for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

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