Otis Campbell's Bar & Grill: open and smokeless
Tue, 29 Jun 2010 21:48:01 GMT —
It's back to business, but it's not exactly usual, for Otis Campbells' Bar in West Burlington.
The pub was shut down for 50 days for not obeying the state smoking ban.
The owner, Larry Duncan, had been fighting the Smokefree Air Act several months before it even went into effect in 2008.
He continued to let customers smoke in the bar, saying the ban was unconstitutional.
An Iowa District Court upheld the constitutionality of the law and as a result, the bar's liquor license was suspended for 60 days.
That was dropped to 50 since the bar was shut down for ten days in 2009.
KHQA's Jarod Wells caught up with Duncan to see what's changed, in the bar and his mindset.
People are now back in Otis Campbell's Bar and Grill in West Burlington, but cigarettes and ash trays are not.
Owner of Otis Campbell's Bar and Grill Larry Duncan said, "Where we are today (6/29), we have reopened. We definitely reopened without smoke, there's no question about that, we had no choice."
Larry Duncan says he is now at peace, because he doesn't see anything else he could have done to fight Iowa's Smokefree Air Act. If he would have appealed the Iowa District Court's ruling on the constitutionality of the law, his business could have been shut down for two years.
Duncan said, "I don't want this business to suffer anymore and I don't want dang good employees to suffer anymore than what they have. We're going to try and put it back where we had it and grow it back to what was a pretty darn good business."
But Duncan's fight isn't over.
Duncan said, "it's not over because I've got thousands of dollars of bills to pay. And as long as I live and breathe I'll do whatever it takes to get these bills paid, legally. We need to take our country back one step at a time. We need to get government out of our personal lives that their not needed for."
With time comes change, at least that's what Duncan is hoping for. He thinks a new election could bring change to the whole government system in Iowa. But as far as the Smokefree Air Act, he still disagrees with it and will support anyone who tries to fight it, but says one simple thing could have stopped his fight in its tracks.
Duncan said, "we wanted it to go to a vote. Anything as important as this should be in front of everybody to have a vote and say on it. If we would've had a vote on this and it would've been voted either way, you would have never heard the name Larry Duncan. That's all I was after."
Larry Duncan says the bar is looking at the possibility of adding a smoker's hut behind the bar.