A plea for Poor Phil's to take the smoke-free lead

Opinion

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Dear Mr. Murphy,

I read with interest your recent letter in Wednesday Journal ("Independence is what makes business work in OP," Jan. 19). Our family has lived in Oak Park for many years and your restaurant Poor Phil's is one that we frequent regularly throughout the year. It's one of those places that you know is always available for a relaxing snack, light dinner or full dinner fare. The quality of the food has never disappointed us from your "chocoholic" and the best key lime pie ever to your fresh fish entrees. We especially love the ambience of your outdoor dining area during the spring and summertime. Your staff and management are always congenial, efficient and responsive to concerns. It is one of the Oak Park places that we hope will always be there for us to patronize. We have also noticed over the years how it has increased in popularity especially in the summertime when waiting for an open table outside happens more frequently than in the past.

We too have been paying attention to the movement afoot (following the lead of many other places both here and abroad) to prohibit smoking in Oak Park restaurants and wondering how establishments will react. We were hoping that you as one of the leaders among restaurateurs in the community might be receptive to supporting a ban on smoking in restaurants considering the impact on health concerns alone (over 440,000 deaths annually directly due to effects of cigarette smoking).

There have been times when we have asked to be moved away from the wafting smoke inside the restaurant and have been accommodated to some degree in the "non smoking area."

I realize how controversial this notion is, but I think entrepreneurs like you who take the risk and decide to support public health measures such as this would only lead to more patronage not less and more importantly, inspire other businesses to do the same.

We hope that you might reconsider your position.

Therese Sabo
Oak Park

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