Best Smoking Patio - 2012
Long ago and far away, lighting up a cigarette used to signify style, sophistication, and class. (Try picturing the iconic Humphrey Bogart prowling around Rick's Café Américain in Casablanca without a Camel clutched in hand). That era, however, is long since past. These days, smokers have been relegated to pariah status and exiled to butt-strewn smoking areas outside local bars or banished to the parking lot to take a puff. Well, unless they happen to be hanging out at Zoan, that is. This CenPho establishment offers nicotine fiends a tony-looking parlor adjacent to the main bar in which to smoke away until their lungs cry uncle while still being able to enjoy their drinks. Earlier this year, owner Rhonda Walden had one wall of Zoan's posh lounge replaced with a latticework of metal bars and screens, transforming it into an open-air smoking patio. It's 100 percent legal in the eyes of the law, not to mention being easy on the eyes. Abstract art lines the walls, while ornate furnishings and warm light decorates the room. A flatscreen TV broadcasts high-energy dance music videos and the both a pool table and dart machine are available for play. Best of all, the room is so well ventilated that it doesn't reek of tobacco, unlike many of its patrons after they get done sucking on a few Marlboros.