Now I realize this isn’t really food-related, but it’s good-times-related and that deserves some attention on my blog. The Cabaret License that has been in effect since 1926, may finally be getting repealed in NYC by Mayor Bloomberg. The 82-year-old law prohibits three or more people from dancing in a bar or restaurant unless it has a cabaret license. From The Daily News:
"City Hall is looking to eliminate – or at least loosen – the cumbersome cabaret license so more bars and businesses can allow patrons to let loose."
I think the law is ridiculous and I’m glad the Mayor and City Hall are working to reform or entirely repeal this law. An avid bar and restaurant-goer myself, I’ve never been asked to leave a bar or restaurant for bopping my head or swaying my hips to music. What’s next? No chewing your food in case it moves in tandem with the music?
Evidently this law was more strictly enforced during Mayor Giuliani’s Quality of Life Campaign in 1997, when police were cracking down on dance clubs without these licenses and promptly shutting them down. An out-of-control nightclub is one thing, but I would doubt that has to do with the amount of "dancing" going on inside. Perhaps they should worry about enforcing the "maximum capacity" law inside clubs. If people were able to move once they were inside, perhaps they wouldn’t start fights with one another because somebody stepped on somebodys elses shoe. According to a source at City Hall, the Daily News reported that they are working on a similar law involving noise and building codes:
"The official said the city’s new noise code would prevent bars from abusing a dance license and building codes that limit the amount of people in the facilities."
Abusing a dance license? I assume that means only certain movements are allowed inside – like the hokey pokey and the electric slide. Personally I was never a believer in "protecting the neighbors from noise;" in my opinion, if you move to 9th avenue between 14th and 15th streets, you’re going to have noise. Same goes for plenty of other areas in Manhattan. It’s one thing to crack down on security inside and outside of clubs and bars for safety reasons, but if it’s a Saturday night and I don’t hear some drunken idiot yelling outside my window, it just doesn’t feel like New York to me.