Atlanta gay bars patchwork of smoking policies

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One-by-one, Atlanta’s gay bars flirted with curtailing indoor smoking last spring to the delight of many cocktailing queens. But a year later, where do the smoking cessation efforts stand? We surveyed several LGBT bars for the latest on their smoking policies.

Bars in gay Atlanta are slowly pushing smokers outdoors. The city banned smoking in its parks, even if Atlanta Pride-goers ignored the effort, and one gay Atlanta man is trying to petition smoking right out of the city. But gay nightlifers still face a patchwork of policies, according to our survey.


This Midtown mainstay offers smoking on the second floor and patio. But don’t try it on the 10th Street level.


Last April, Burkhart’s experimented with banning smoking inside, limiting lighting up only to its expansive patio. Nearly a year later, here’s where the current policy stands: Smoking on the patio, in the main hall (upstairs and down) and the pool room. The side bar (where Blackjack is played) and back patio bar are smoke-free.

Ten Atlanta

This restaurant by day and gay bar by night opened as smoke-free in 2013. And it’s stayed that way ever since. Smokers to the patio, please.

Atlanta Eagle

Last May, this haven for cigar chewing daddies and cigarette smoking bears banned smoking indoors. The same policy – smoking on its patios only – remains in place today.

BJ Roosters

When BJ Roosters moved its go-go boys into a bigger and better space in March 2013, the bar took its liberal smoking policy with it. And it remains intact today. There’s something about boys dancing on bars, cocktails and cigarettes that go hand-in-hand.

Swinging Richards

Swinging Richards was one of the first gay Atlanta bars to experiment with its smoking policy, going butts-free on Wednesdays in 2011. Now, the Northside Drive strip joint offers full smoking throughout to go with its full frontal.

My Sister’s Room

In March 2013, this East Atlanta lounge for the ladies who love ladies curtailed smoking on Wednesdays, Thursday and Saturdays. Today, the bar is smoke-free, seven days a week, in the main room with the stage and dance floor as well as the restaurant area. Smoking is confined to the patio and pool room.


In March 2013, the bar aggressively cut back smoking and limited it to the Pub Bar and outside patios. The same limited smoking policy remains in place today.


Last April, the bar ended 15 years of smoking bliss by pushing smokers to the patio on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s the same policy in place today: Smoking outdoors on the weekends and during special events. But more changes are coming. The bar teased that once renovation work is completed this spring, smoking indoors will be banned seven days a week.


When the dance club wrapped up its massive renovations in 2012, it installed a ceiling ventilator to suck up the smoke and designated smoking to a sliver of the new main bar near the south wall. That policy, and a smoke-free dance floor, remains in place today.


We didn’t hear back from the owners of Woof’s, but the bar for gay sports junkies offers smoking throughout.


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