The owner of a downtown Windsor cigar store is allowed to open up a smoking patio.

Windsor City Council went against a staff recommendation and voted in favour of La Casa del Habano of opening the patio.

City staff said the request went against bylaws, which only allow sidewalk patios for restaurants and bars.

Coun. Bill Marra said it would be unfair to say no in this case.

"Common sense prevailed [Monday] because what we allowed this business owner to do is extend his business into a patio. His business happens to be cigars, and so I think common sense prevailed," Marra said. "We should be really pro-business and supporting our local downtown, and frankly businesses across the city."

City officials will now have to adjust the bylaw.

The Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association wrote a letter to the mayor and council urging them to allow the patio.

"While the Downtown Windsor BIA recognizes that the Side Walk Café Handbook defines a mini café as one whose primary business is food and/or beverage service, we respectfully request that you look with favour
on the above mentioned application," the letter reads in part.

"Sidewalk Café's contribute to the life of Windsor's individual neighbourhoods and in turn enhance Windsor's civic image as identified in the Side Walk Café Handbook," the letter continues. "The Downtown BIA would like to encourage all merchants to set up patios including retailers, property owners, service providers etc."

The letter was signed by DWBIA chair Larry Horwitz, who is running for mayor.