Towey's Tavern in Hatboro Going Smoke-Free

The owner of Hatboro's Irish-themed corner bar, Towey's Tavern, plans to clear the air and roll out a new menu later this month.

George Berry smoked what amounts to one of his last cigarettes at Towey's Tavern on Tuesday.

Come Oct. 14, Berry and other smokers who frequent the nearly 40-year-old Irish-themed pub at 117 S. York Road, will need to step outside before lighting up as Towey's becomes a smoke-free establishment. 

"A non-smoker is less inclined to come to a smoking bar nowadays," James Kinney said of his reasoning behind the change, adding that he hopes to open his business to "new clientele."

Towey's move to smoke-free follows Connolly's Pub's announcement in March that it would no longer permit smoking.

A non-smoker himself, Kinney, who has owned the bar with his wife Trish since 1996, said he has only heard a few "negative comments" about the impending switch to smoke-free. 

"It's scary," he said. "Because it's change."

Besides ensuring cleaner air in the roughly 75-seat pub, the Kinneys are also planning to roll out a new food menu. Kinney said he hopes to put a greater emphasis on a hot roast beef sandwich, cooked on the grill, like a cheesesteak, that he views as Towey's "signature sandwich."

Kinney said he's looking to incorporate acoustic music, as well as DJs into the pub's entertainment mix, which also includes Texas Hold'Em on Thursday nights.

He's also planning to add a 60 or 65-inch TV over the pub's grill area toward the back of the bar in the coming weeks. 

But mostly, Kinney, of Chalfont, said he is proud to help maintain the tavern that's been a part of his life since he was 14 years old. Back then, Kinney traveled every Sunday with his best friend - the son of former owner Jim Towey - to the bar to help clean up. 

"I got paid for it," Kinney said of the $10 weekly salary.

Following high school, when he was looking for a change from his tire retreading business, the relationship he built with the Toweys presented him with "a sweet thing."

As Jim Towey became ill with pancreatic cancer and eventually succumbed to the disease, Kinney took the helm of Towey's Tavern, keeping the pub's name the same because "Jim asked me if I would."

"It's an honor to me," Kinney said.

Since Jim Towey gutted and remodeled the tavern in 1989, it has stayed relatively the same. Kinney said he has redecorated and maintained the look. 

The smoke-free atmosphere will be the first major change since he became owner in November 1996. 

"I've done everything I can to deal with the smoking," Kinney said. "Any business is always evolving to a point."

jenortip October 03, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Glad that Towey's is going smoke free.
Liberty 1 October 03, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Still a dump. But now you'll be able to see it.
john davidson October 04, 2012 at 02:29 AM
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS" 7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18 November 2004. cot.food.gov.uk/pdfs/tox201208.pdf "5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke - induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease." In other words ... our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can't even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact ... we don't even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does. The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.
john davidson October 04, 2012 at 02:32 AM
The one thing I do know is the number of bars and restaraunts that have been put out of business by the smoking bans! Its world wide after the WHO world health orginizations FCTC anti-tobacco treaty where they blackmaled countries to sign on or lose world bank and IMF loans.
Kim October 05, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Most of the people that I know that go to Towey's specifically go there because they CAN smoke inside.


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