McStorlie’s stomps out cigarettes, again |

McStorlie’s stomps out cigarettes, again

Joel Stonington
Longtime local restaurant manager Tom Elder has recently taken over the manager's duties at McStorlie's Pub, which has gone back to a no-smoking policy. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)

McStorlie’s Pub has gone back to being nonsmoking after just two months of allowing it. The owner, R.T. Flanagan, had banned smoking a year ago, when he bought it in January 2005. Heather Kent, during the process of buying the pub, changed it to a smoking establishment. But the deal fell through.

Now, Flanagan has hired Tom Elder, a well-known bar manager who has worked at The Red Onion and Little Annie’s Eating House for nearly 30 years, as manager of McStorlie’s.Elder said banning smoking is a good move. “It just makes for a better environment, a healthier environment. Smokers can go outside. It’s so damn cold out there they have to come back in and have another drink.”

Most establishments in Aspen are smoke-free. Although bars escaped the city’s far-reaching smoking ban, enacted 20 years ago, many have voluntarily sent smokers outside. When Kent changed McStorlie’s to smoking, she said it would help bring in more lifties and internationals. Elder doesn’t think the change will make a difference.

“We won’t loose the international crowd,” he said. “Well, maybe the French. It’s only the French that smoke all the time.”Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is