Former cigar bar Downing Street Pub has apparently closed. A CultureMap reader says he spoke with an employee who informed him of the closure. In addition, the bar's website has been taken offline and no posts have been made to its Facebook page in over a week. An employee at a neighboring business observed that the bar, which is usually open for lunch, was locked up all day Wednesday.
Downing Street made the decision to go non-smoking in March to better accommodate the arrival of the recently opened Local Foods and the Memorial Hermann Breast Care Center that operates above the bar. Managing partner Lawrence Daniel told CultureMap that the property's landlord was "heavily involved" in the decision to end smoking at the space.
When CultureMap first reported on Downing Street's decision to go non-smoking in February, Daniel predicted the bar would be able to successfully transition away from cigar enthusiasts by attracting non-smokers who had previously avoided the bar's smoky atmosphere. "If we were to go completely non-smoking, what might that open up," he wondered. "Nobody in Houston can touch our back bar . . . in single malt Scotches and bourbon."
Whoops! Bad decision. Who really thought that making a profitable cigar bar non-smoking was a good idea. Now the former patrons will have to "transition" to another venue. Nice job, guys.