CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Dave Pitzer's mad.
"I am not paid by the state of Ohio over here to enforce their laws," says Pitzer.
He's the son of the owner of Peg's Pub. He invited us inside the darkened bar to show it has "No Smoking" signs up on the front door and beyond. But Pitzer says, regardless, patrons want to smoke and he doesn't want to lose their business.
"When people light up, we tell them, by law you are not supposed to smoke in here. But I'd be a stupid business owner if I rand them out because they are paying customers. If I ran them out, I'd lose 30 to 50 percent of my business," says Pitzer.
It's illegal to smoke in any bar or restaurant in the state of Ohio. So over the last few months, Peg's Pub has been cited by the state many times and the owners now owes more than $50,000 in fines.
Dave says his family's been paying that down.
"We've been paying a hundred dollar a month money order for the last, ballpark year and a half," says Pitzer.
Now the state has sent a certified letter telling the Pitzer family they've lost the liquor licence for Peg's Pub. The smoking violations are simply too many.
Word about this has spread fast.
"Oh yeah. This parking lot is packed. On Friday night, if we work late, its hard to find a place to park our service vans. So, it was a well established establishment," says patron Tim Heim.
Peg's Put remains open for now. Pitzer says he's going to fight the state on this one. He says it's not about smoking, but about getting the state to "butt out" of small business.
The Pitzers have 30 days to fight the judgement.