UK Restaurants Serve Up Special Spaces for Cigar Smokers

Special Spaces for Cigar SmokersCigarette smoking in restaurants in the United States is all but extinct as is the case in the United Kingdom. However, cigar smoking is making a bit of comeback across the pond. A number of restaurants in the UK are going out of their way to accommodate diners who enjoy a post-meal stogie, either with enclosed smoking areas known as cosas (which stands for “comfortable outdoor smoking areas) or lounges. According to the Financial Times, 220 restaurants in Britain offer such spaces, many are selling cigars as well.

These spaces aren’t necessarily meant to encourage smoking, but rather to deal with the practical problems it creates. Restaurateurs grapple with smokers loitering outside entrances, forcing other patrons to walk through wafting smoke as they enter and exit restaurants. Cigarette and cigar butts dot sidewalks. Food falls cold as smokers dash in and out. Savvy industry professionals are tackling some of these issues with cosas and by embracing cigar smokers, who are some of their “best spending customers.”

Would you prefer that a restaurant create a cosa so you wouldn’t ever have to walk through a cloud of smoke in front of a restaurant? Is finishing a meal with a cigar more “culinarily acceptable” than a cigarette? Chime in here or join the debate on Facebook.

Well-Reviewed: House Café; The Prime Rib Grill; Strip House-New York, and More

Recent restaurant reviews from the news…

* S. Irene Virbila says the menu at Bruce Marder’s House Ca in LA has “something for everyone.” [Los Angeles Times]

* Marzano and Garibaldi’s in San Francisco save the day for a large party of diners/fans of Michael Bauer. [SF Gate]

* The Prime Rib Grill by Hereford House in Kansas City bests its predecessor, according to Charles Ferruzza. [The Pitch]

* David Kaufman likes the show at SHO Shaun Hergatt. [Financial Times]

* Just like steak and wine, the Strip House in New York improves with age, says critic Sam Sifton [The New York Times].