Well, Mayor Bloomberg may not let New Yorkers smoke most anywhere these days, but he is trying to let them dance: The Bloomberg administration is moving to repeal the cabaret law, turning the tide from the Giuliani era "quality of life" enforcement of the law. Bars and nightclubs can apply for 2 year nightlife licenses, provided they meet the following criteria: 1) Being louder than 90 decibels on a continuing basis; 2) Remaining open past 1AM; 3) Capacity of more than 75 in residential, 200 in commercial areas.
Commissioner of Consumer Affairs Gretchen Dykstra says, "This proposal promotes a lively nightlife without requiring a license to dance, and most importantly, it will improve the quality-of-life in neighborhoods and strengthen enforcement to effectively deal with poorly managed places." The bars and nightclubs will also have to make sure the streets outsides their establishments are "clean and free of unruly and noisy crowds.
The cabaret law was originally passed in 1926 (Jazz Age crackdown on speakeasiers and Harlem jazz clubs) and has been making it illegal for guests to dances at clubs that serve food and drink if the clubs are not one of the 300 clubs with cabaret licenses.