The Fredrick Inn Steakhouse announced plans to go smoke-free in May. The new policy went into effect Monday, July 8.
"We're really excited. We got a new ceiling, which brightens everything up in here. It looks really good," said waitress Dara Alsbury.
Alsbury said the move was something the long-time eatery on Frederick Ave. has been considering for quite a while.
"We've been thinking about doing it for a long time. We really thought the city was going to do it for us," she said.
St. Joseph's City Council decided in May not to take action on a proposed smoking ordinance, leaving the decision up to business owners for now.
"I still believe it's the owners' choice because everybody has the right to go into a place where it's smoking or non," added Alsbury.
She said the decision didn't sit well with every customer at the Fredrick Inn. Some regulars were against the move, but Alsbury said the timing just felt right.
"We just decided it was better for us, better for the people who work here and the clientele that we have here. We have more people that want us to be non-smoking than we do smoking," said Alsbury.
It's a move clean air advocates see as a step in the right direction.
"I could not be happier for Fredrick Inn. This is a St. Joe staple," said Sara Summers, Clean Air St. Joseph. "To see people support a local business that made the decision to go smoke-free is something to be celebrated."
Those at the restaurant hope their decision motivates others to follow suit and brings a boost for business. Fredrick Inn celebrated the move to go smoke-free by offering a 10-percent discount to customers Monday.