Main | Monday, July 14, 2008

NYC To Repeal Cabaret Law?

In what may be the best thing to happen to Gotham's waning nightclub scene in many years, Mayor Bloomberg's office has announced that he is looking into repealing New York City's nightlife-stifling cabaret law. That 82 year-old restriction prevents three or more people from dancing in a bar or restaurant unless that establishment has a city-issued cabaret license, a treasured little document only held by 181 businesses in this city of eight million.

During Rudy Giuliani's "quality of life" crackdown in the late '90s, police regularly fined or closed businesses that allowed dancing but did not have a cabaret license. Just last year a court upheld the city's right to issue and enforce the licenses. Such enforcements have been a convenience afforded the NYPD to close down "troublesome" nightclubs at their whim.

As NYC's fringe neighborhoods continue to gentrify and luxurify at a dizzying pace, the nouveaux riche of Manhattan have complained loudly and often effectively about the nightclubs in the nightclub districts they have moved into. You don't move next to the aiport and then complain about planes, but apparently it's totally reasonable to buy a zillion dollar loft across from a decade-old disco and complain about music.

Cheers to Bloomberg for at least floating this idea. Let's hope he succeeds.

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