Famous Frontier Restaurant

Along New Mexico's Route 66 is the world famous Frontier Restaurant. Owner, Larry Rainosek, is a pioneer and hero in many ways.

Recognizing the Heroes in the 'War Against Tobacco'

Feature Stories
Frontier Restaurant -- Scarpas -- The Tomato Cafe

Second-hand cigarette smoke is the third leading known cause of cancer in the U.S. An estimated 70,000 Americans die each year due to illnesses and disease from the toxic chemicals emitted in cigarette smoke.

It has taken many years and millions of tax dollars to change the long standing perceptions and habits of American businesses. The CCAA is honoring some of America's finest, those enlightened and visionary individuals who did not wait for government policy makers and politicians. They have taken the initiative and risked both financial penalties and suffered public outcries to bring a better world to people today -- not tomorrow.

In Honor
Our first recognition award goes to Mr. Larry Rainosek, owner of Albuquerque's Frontier Restaurant. The Frontier is a landmark establishment and part of America's folk history. Situated on the famous Route 66, the Frontier has been party to the development of this country -- particularly the western U.S. It is therefore fitting that the Frontier is part of the revolution that is toppling the stranglehold that big tobacco has had on both the government and Americans for the past 50 years.

The Frontier restaurant, across from the University of New Mexico, is well-known as a hangout and study area for college students, meeting place for business professionals and general gathering place. Traditionally, patrons ordered the famous cinnamon rolls, drank coffee and smoked.

When Rainosek decided to limit smoking in the restaurant a few years ago, it was not a popular decision. The owner made the policy decision to separate smokers from non-smokers due to concerns about the health of cashiers and cooks. Yet the initial experiment wasn't successful. Rainosek found that it is hard to contain the second-hand smoke. Recently, they decided to move to a 100% smoke-free environment.

The results have been overwhelmingly positive. While a few disgruntled smokers complained, and some probably took their business elsewhere, the transition was smooth. The atmosphere remains fun, lively and folklore-ish. If you want to view America, spend some time in the Frontier.

From a business standpoint, the Frontier's ledgers never missed a beat. The transition to a smoke-free environment had a number of positive effects. Patrons no longer bought just a roll and a cup of coffee. They ordered more complete meals. There is less hanging out in general and tables turn over faster. The Frontier is doing more business than ever -- and workers and customers enjoy the historical setting in a healthier environment.

The new America thanks you Larry!

NOTE: Larry Rainosek is a former smoker. He admits that the glamour and promise of looking cool seduced him as a teenager. He offers the following to teens: there is nothing in cigarettes that is cool, sexy or fun. Don't make my mistake, avoid the addiction.

The Frontier Restaurant is located at 2400 Central Ave. SE and their phone number is 505.266.0550.

The Scarpas Story

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