Slys tackles no smoking law, adds on
The blueprints were drawn in March but it took until September to actually break ground. This is in regards to the building of a smoking addition to Slyvester’s Bar in Broken Bow. Following some contention regarding the statewide smoking-ban, patrons began wondering if a smoker-friendly sector would happen at all. Fred Schumacher, owner/manager of Slyvester’s Bar, explained that there was a lot of legal requirements and red tape regarding the addition. He said the hardest thing involving the construction was getting the blueprints approved. Regulation calls for 20 percent natural airflow within the smoking area, excluding the aid of fans or other circulatory devices. Because of this, part of the space must remain open to the elements. Nevertheless, smokers don’t want to freeze during the winter and this kept Fred and the construction crew busy trying to find a solution. The goal was to get the section as closed off as possible to protect from bad weather, while still allowing for the proper amount of natural airflow. “It’s pretty much to the T,” commented Fred, implying that the area couldn’t be more enclosed without breaking code. In September, the construction crew was able to start the development by tearing up a section of the parking lot to be reworked into a smoking segment and then Bill Butler and Custer County Construction took over. Once underway, the formation didn’t take long to complete and was open for use a few weeks prior to Halloween. The extra space serves as an overflow, keeping the bar from becoming too crowded on band nights and other busy occasions. The add-on supplies an additional 600 square feet to the bar. Within the area, there are two electric heat sources as well as an extreme-weather flat-screen TV. These amenities focus on the comfort of patrons and supply many of the same luxuries as offered inside the bar. The bartenders also give service to the area by taking orders and delivering drinks to those who decide to lounge in the smoking section. The extra space is turning out to be a very good thing and working out better than expected. When asked what his thoughts were on the addition, Fred replied, “I really like the way it looks, it adds to the ambience of the bar.” Fred estimates that 40% of his cliental smoke, which is part of the reason a smoking area was in such demand. “If you’ve got that many of your patrons who are smokers, you’ve got to do something nice for them and I think we’ve done that,” Fred reflected. He went on to tell that he’s had nothing but compliments regarding the addition and how impressed people seem to be by the improvement. Fred seemed to think that the time and money spent was well worth it and hoped that within a few years it will be cost effective. Slyvester’s plans to host a grand opening for the smoking sector, the time and date will be announce at a later time.