HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A business owner wants to bring a premium cigar bar to downtown Hattiesburg.
The business owner proposed the idea to City Council Monday night during the council’s work session.
“We want to bring a premium cigar lounge to a city that’s been begging for it, obviously, over the last three years," said Matthew Senge, owner of Smokin’ Aces Social Club in Ocean Springs. “We sent out a poll back in September. 12,500 people answered that poll saying we would love to see a premium cigar bar.”
Currently, Hattiesburg has a smoking ordinance that prohibits smoking inside a public building. For the proposal to move forward, the council would have to make some adjustments.
“I think what you would see happen is possibly some type of amendment to the smoking ordinance that would put maybe an exception in place,” said Ward 1 City Councilman Jeffrey George.
Councilwoman Deborah Delgado of Ward 2 opposes the idea. She was not at Monday night’s meeting but voiced her concerns over the phone.
“We need to be a healthy community, and I think that this is a slap in the face of advocating for the health and well-being of the citizens of our community,” Delgado said.
A downtown Hattiesburg residents who is against smoking said she has no issue with people blowing smoke with each other at a bar.
“A contained place like that for people who want to smoke and who don’t mind inhaling second hand smoke, that would be fine,” said Ronda Norris, who lives in downtown. “I would be a bit worried about that smoke on the sidewalks and affecting other businesses downtown.”
As far as what the next step is, the council will have to review what is presented to them and do some research before making a decision at a future meeting.