Bump in food sales gives Gator City new smoke-free regulations

When UF sophomore Jennifer Hafner left one of Midtown’s most popular bars over the weekend, her hair and clothing didn’t smell like smoke.

Gator City went smoke-free at the beginning of the year after being audited by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco for violating the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act. The bar hired a new chef last year who increased food sales, which resulted in the violation.

The act prohibits smoking in most enclosed businesses and workplaces. To qualify as a standalone bar that can choose whether smoking is allowed indoors, the business must receive no more than 10 percent of its income from food, said Andrew Romero, a health policy specialist at the Alachua County Health Department.

Due to the increased food sales, Gator City’s income status changed. To enforce the new policy, Gator City posted signage and is having its staff inform customers, said general manager Jon Gold.

Read more here.

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