“This is unprecedented,” said Guy Smith of Sutherland, a queer nightclub within East Williamsburg space 3 Dollar Bill. He’s talking about the first-ever Office of Nightlife Listening Tour, in which new “night mayor” Ariel Palitz and a slew of representatives from state and city agencies listen (and even respond) to what the community thinks about the state of nightlife, in the hopes of arriving at a “new beginning on how to approach nightlife as a whole together.”
Yesterday, hundreds flocked to City Hall to discuss the future of nightlife in New York City at a consumer affairs oversight hearing. It was the first of its kind in over a decade to address the city’s oft-decried cabaret law, which has been in effect since 1926.
“The City licenses bars, clubs, taverns, and discos that allow dancing,” states the City of New York’s official website. “A place that is open to the public and sells food or drinks must have a Cabaret License to allow customers to dance.”
And yet, there currently are only 97 of these licenses in effect. Considering there are thousands of bar and nightclub establishments in New York City where one might feel compelled to shake their hips, there is little wonder that City Council members Rafael Espinal and Antonio Reynoso called themselves both “young Dominicans representing north Brooklyn” and “dance outlaws.” Keep Reading »