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In Dining

Cafe Hollander in Tosa, like all other Diablos Rojos restaurants, goes entirely smoke-free starting next Monday.

A smoke-free Diablos and the politics of pizza


Diablos Rojos Restaurants joins the growing squad of local restaurants and bars going smoke-free in advance of the July smoking ban.

Co-owner Mike Eitel announced that all the Diablos eateries -- Cafes Hollander (in Tosa and on Downer) and Centraal and Trocadero -- will ban smoking beginning next Monday, May 17.

A statement said that the decision was made "after analyzing customer feedback forms."

Since last autumn, the restaurants allowed smoking only after 10 p.m. Before that the restaurants had separate smoking sections.

"We've definitely noticed that our customers have become more and more vocal about their disgust with second-hand smoke," said Eitel, who added that most diners have come to expect smoke-free environments in restaurants.

"We have been reading feedbacks for the last couple of years and have seen a significant change in customer attitudes," said Eitel.

"I think that people used to tolerate indoor smoking in restaurants because they had to. Now that the bill has been signed and the new law goes into effect soon, a huge majority of customers simply won't tolerate it any longer."

Eitel said that ending smoking also has a previously unseen noise reduction benefit.

"We will be able to remove our huge, noisy smoke 'eating' machines which means our music doesn't have to overpower the motors and people don't have to talk over the music-it's a noticeable difference when those things get turned on at night."

The Politics of Pizza

When I moved here in the early '80s I tried eagerly to get my whole pizzas cut like pies, even going so far as to draw what I meant on a napkin at Lisa's on Oakland. But even that night it arrived cut into little useless squares that couldn't hold on to their cheese.

Palermo's Pizza, in the valley, is leading a campaign to let pizza fans decide on triangle or square slices, with a kick-off "Palermo's Pizza Primary" Saturday, May 22, at Villa Palermo, 3301 W. Canal St., at 11 a.m.

Square and Slice are the main contenders and will be on hand for a debate at the event. "Voters" get a free slice or square of pizza and families can take pictures with a range of local mascots, including Bango, the Racing Sausage, Bucky Badger and the Admirals' Roscoe. The Pius XI marching band will play and there will be prizes.

Admission is free but voters are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Hunger Task Force.

"Even our own family, with deep Sicilian roots, is divided on the issue," said Giacomo Fallucca, president and CEO of Palermo's Pizza. "We're asking Milwaukee to help us start a national campaign to finally put the decision to rest."

After the primary is held here in Milwaukee, Palermo's takes its pizza politics show on the road to North Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, Virginia, Alabama and beyond. Details are on the Decision 2K10 election Web site.

Talkbacks

SPICEGIRL | May 15, 2010 at 10:39 a.m. (report)

MONEY!!!! Can you believe this guy. He has been listening to his customers for 2 years. What is he deaf or does he think that the readers are stupid. So now two months before the smoking ban comes into effect he decides that because of his customer' concerns, time to go no smoking, give us a break. I understand that he is an environmentalist but I think more of a money grabber. If the smoking ban was not coming into effect until 2012 I am sure he would be listening to his customers for another two years. But what about his staff. The customers have had a choice to go to his restaurants for the past two years, his staff have had to work in the smokey environments. Money or morals, I think he has chosen the money and it has nothing at all to do with the customers. We appreciate you going no smoking but please leave the do good politics out of it.

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uww27225 | May 14, 2010 at 10:13 a.m. (report)

Actually, this has nothing to do with free market economics. The businesses that are going smokefree now are doing so BECAUSE OF the law. Do you really think it's a coincidence??

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Don Draper | May 14, 2010 at 9:33 a.m. (report)

This is a good lesson in free market economics for the fascist, metrosexual PC wieners like Doyle, Barrett and Pres. Obama who think gov't should control our lives. Hopefully, our next Gov. and legislature will have the stones to repeal the ridiculous smoking ban, or local gov'ts just won't enforce it.

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TheyThink | May 13, 2010 at 10:52 p.m. (report)

@karlh1 - in case you didn't know, the smoking ban IS a political topic exactly because our gov't had decided to stick its nose directly into the issue. If there wasn't a smoking ban coming, articles about going smoke-free early wouldn't be written. You're probably one of those avid tweeters who feel the need constantly respond to people to have public acceptance however superficial it may be.

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karlh1 | May 13, 2010 at 9:22 p.m. (report)

It seems to me that this article was about a smoke free restaurant group and not about politics. "mkelover" thought differently, I guess, and turned it into a political issue. Perhaps that writer had sipped a few too many Rush & Tonics and got all liquored up prior to writing.

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