As Dunkin Donuts' two local shops joined the 3,000 nationwide that were about to ban smoking, patrons were angry.
Many were used to having a seat on a stool at the counter and a cup of coffee while reading the paper and smoking a couple butts.
The two Buffalo-area Dunkin Donuts stores did close for 19 months in the late 1990s before new owners could be found. A search of the corporate website shows 39 locations within 30 miles of Buffalo in 2015.
"At the Kenmore shop, one regular remarked he would continue to stop in regardless of whether he could smoke. In Cheektowaga, however, customers were unhappy.
" 'They voiced their opinions very strongly,' a clerk there noted. 'They don't like it. No way.' "