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
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.