Main | Monday, March 15, 2010

NYC Moves Closer To Shuttering M2 Nightclub Over Smoking Violations

The New York Times reports today that the city is one step closer to shuttering the popular M2 Ultralounge nightclub over smoking law violations. The club is on trial this week. If the closure happens, it will be the first NYC business shut down because of smoking.
The Bloomberg administration is moving closer to shutting one of the largest and busiest nightclubs in the city, as part of an aggressive new strategy to revoke the operating licenses of clubs that health officials believe promote smoking. The nightclub, the M2 UltraLounge on West 28th Street in Manhattan, went on trial last week at a special administrative court that the city uses when it seeks to take away property. If the case against the club succeeds, it would be the first time the city had closed a business solely for flouting a ban on smoking. City officials have also moved to take several other clubs before the court, seeking to revoke their food and beverage licenses. It has been an open secret for years among the late-night set that there is a network of so-called smoke-easies throughout the city, from little neighborhood dives to glossy, exclusive boƮtes, that let patrons smoke illegally.
Five nightclubs have already settled with the city and paid fines, an option not offered to M2 Ultralounge as it is considered to be the most blatant violator. The trial is expected to conclude on Thursday. If the club loses, it's not clear if it will be closed immediately. This Sunday it hosts Alegria Extreme, the tenth annual post-Black Party event that draws thousands of gay men.

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