SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Ruthie's Bar was bustling with customers a year ago. It's a different scene now at the virtually empty bar on Commercial Street.
"I actually used to have a good business here. This time of day, the bar would be full, the tables would be full, and we would be very busy day and night," said owner Jean Doublin.
Doublin said most of her customers left when the smoking ban went into effect in June 2011.
Doublin sued the city more than a year ago -- and lost. She said her last hope of saving the bar is on Tuesday, which is when her case is set to be heard at the Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals.
"If we win, I think I can rebuild it. I think my people will come back," said Doublin.
The lawsuit cites a state law that allows a business to post signs that state there are no smoke-free areas inside. Doublin believes state law trumps Springfield's ordinance.
The city's lawyer, however, says that is not the case.
"There is a body of law that says that, if there's not a clear intent at state law to prohibit a city from doing something, then you can be more restrictive, and that's what we argue," said City Attorney Dan Wichmer.
If Doublin wins on appeal, the smoking ban would be reversed.
She said she'll try to keep her bar going until a judgment comes in. Whatever the appeals court decides, Doublin said, she is done fighting.
"I don't have the money to go any further with it."
It could take up to 60 days for a ruling in the appeals case. After the judges rule, any further appeals could end up at the Missouri Supreme Court, especially if the Southern District Court of Appeals rules differently than the Western District Court of Appeals, which upheld a smoking ban in a different city.