At last! It was so weird DJing bars in New York and having no one dance because of this mad law.
nearly century-old law that turned New York bars into no-dancing zones, prevented singers like Billie Holiday and Ray Charles from performing and drew protest from Frank Sinatra, is finally set to be struck down.
The Cabaret Law was created during Prohibition to patrol speakeasies, and while its restrictions on musicians came and went, the ban on social dancing has remained — leaving generations of club owners flicking the lights or playing “Eleanor Rigby” to still the crowd, lest they be fined or padlocked by the police in midnight raids. It is an odd and archaic regulation in a city that thinks of itself as a night life capital, but one that has resisted multiple attempts at repeal.
That is expected to end on Tuesday, when a bill introduced by Rafael Espinal, a councilman from Brooklyn, comes before the City Council. Mr. Espinal, who embraced an effort by advocates in his district, which includes Bushwick, where bars and D.I.Y. venues have proliferated in recent years, says he has the 26 votes needed to pass it.
After 91 Years, New York Will Let Its People BoogieIn New York City, only 97 out of roughly 25,000 eating and drinking establishments have a cabaret license. Obtaining one is costly and time-consuming, requiring the approval of several agencies, and only businesses in areas zoned for commercial manufacturing are eligible. Though the law has not been aggressively enforced since the Giuliani administration, it keeps bar and club owners “living in fear,” said Mr. Espinal, and pushes dancers from safe, regulated spaces into potentially hazardous underground ones.