Two sports bars in the Quad Cities are catering specifically to non-smokers, giving people the opportunity to eat and drink without the smoke that clogs most taverns. "My friend is a smoker, so it is funny to watch him squirm while we sit and have a drink because he knows he has to wait to have a cigarette," said Jay Keim, a resident of Rock Island and a customer at 3rd & 22.

Located at 2130 Third Avenue in Rock Island, 3rd & 22 is one of the new smoke-free sports bars in the Quad Cities, and is also part of Tobacco-Free QC program. Overtime Sports Pub in Bettendorf is its smoke-free competition.

3rd & 22, located in a re-developed synagogue, opened for business on July 27. Jeff Guthrie, one of the primary owners of 3rd & 22, has a passion for restoring old buildings. "I am a graphic designer, and have been renovating old buildings/properties over the past 10 to 12 years," Guthrie said. "Because I do graphics work with the City of Rock Island, I felt that it would be a good investment as far as investing in property for long-term use."

Guthrie said that his son was a major influence on his decision to make the bar smoke-free. He said that the more they talked about the idea, the better it got. "My son, who is 24, lived for a short time in California and suggested making the bar for non-smokers," Guthrie said. "He is an occasional smoker, but liked the non-smoking atmosphere."

"We are family-oriented, and more of a restaurant," said Jeremy Lange, general manager of the bar. Being smoke-free, according to Lange, is better for the business; he said that more families and couples come in. "People come in for the food, and stay for the sports," Lange said.

3rd & 22 has two levels, with a different sports theme in many areas. On the first floor, the carpeting looks like a football field, and tables and bar tops are made out of bowling-alley lanes. The second level has stadium-like seating - so nobody has an obstructed view - a skybox, and the Quad Cities sports hall of fame.

Most sports bars, according to Guthrie, honor national sports figures. He said that he wanted a sports theme of local heroes. The Quad Cities sports hall of fame began in 1987, as a part of the Quad-City Times. Guthrie said the hall of fame has bounced from one location to another, but never a public entity. "We contacted the Quad-City Times and told them we would sponsor it," he said.

Lange said was delighted to hear that 3rd & 22 was mentioned on the Tobacco-Free QC Program's smoke-free dining list.

Established in September 1998, Tobacco-Free QC (TFQC) is an organization that works to educate individuals in the Quad Cities about the detrimental effects of second-hand smoke. The program focuses on reducing the availability of tobacco products, cutting second-hand smoke exposure, and promoting cessation. In addition, TFQC works with local restaurants to promote a smoke-free environment, as well as with local law-enforcement agencies to diminish the use of tobacco for underage individuals.

Educational materials are also distributed to schools in Rock Island and Scott counties. TGQC is a not-for-profit coalition that supports the Quad City Health Initiative.

JaNan Less, of the Scott County Health Department, said that 226 restaurants in Rock Island and Scott counties are smoke-free. Of those, 56 are fast food, 24 are Mexican or Chinese, 15 are pizza and pasta, 38 are sub-sandwich restaurants, two are sports bars, and 91 are other types of dining establishments.

"Ultimately, our goal is to have 100 percent of the workplaces in the Quad City area smoke-free. This includes restaurants and bars," Less said. "Because of existing law, we will not be able to do this unless it would be accomplished on a voluntary basis. Realistically, this is not going to happen at this time. We want to see the number of restaurants that are smoke-free increasing."

Although successful, according to Jennifer Johnson of the Rock Island County Health Department, the TFQC program has its challenges.

"The biggest challenge is that Iowa and Illinois have what they call 'preemption,'" Johnson said, referring to the power of state government to forbid localities from passing ordinances in certain subject areas. For example, Moline could not pass for a smoke-free-city ordinance because state law supersedes that. "Preemption ties our hands to make it a smoke-free city," Johnson said. "All we can do is educate."

TFQC calls all restaurants in Rock Island and Scott counties every June to ask if they allow smoking or are smoke-free, Johnson said. If the establishment is considered 100-percent smoke-free, the name of the restaurant is put on the Tobacco-Free QC Web site. A certificate is presented to the restaurant, along with stickers. Furthermore, the state enrolls it in its database.

"People have to want smoke-free restaurants before the restaurant owners are going to make a change," Less said.

Along with 3rd & 22, Overtime (at 3700 Belmont in Bettendorf) is taking part in the game.

Dave McCracken, owner of Overtime, said that the establishment is geared toward families, even though it is considered a sports pub.

The bar opened October 8, although McCracken - in keeping with the "overtime" theme - said that he considers it "September 38th." "It's a personal thing," he said.

McCracken has three daughters, ages seven and under. He said that his daughters' health was a major factor in opening a smoke-free bar. Additionally, he said, "My friend suggested that I open up a smoke-free bar so that there would be another option for those who do not appreciate a smoke-filled atmosphere."

Overtime has a 130-person seating capacity, with a patio that holds about 35. While individuals are not allowed to smoke inside, McCracken noted that they are more than welcome to smoke outside. "We are not trying to turn smokers away, because we also want their business," he said.

For more information about TFQC, visit (

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