The city that never sleeps is about to party like it’s 1926. The infamous Cabaret Law, or the “no dancing law” is set to be repealed 91 years after it was originally passed. The law was originally enforced during the years of prohibition in the 1920’s and has remained in place ever since.
The Cabaret Law was passed to patrol liquor stores and nightclubs from conducting business. The law stated that there could only be up to three musicians that could play together and that no more than three people could dance inside one of these speakeasies that didn’t have a license. Compared to today’s times, this is borderline evil.
After multiple attempts to repeal the law, Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal announced that the ancient law will be repealed beginning today. Only 88 of the 12,000 bars in New York City have a Cabaret license. This is a huge win to the vast majority of the bars in NYC.
One man, John Barclay, who owns the Bossa Nova Civic Club, has been one of the leaders in attempting to repeal the law. Although he did explain that certain neighborhoods are super regulated in order to control noise and fire in an attempt to prevent these spots from “turning into Coachella”, he did explain how the law has negatively affected the underground scene in the city:
“When we stop people from dancing, they go straight to these warehouses… People haven’t stopped dancing, they’re just dancing in these extremely unsafe, unregulated environments.”
To compliment the newly repealed law, the city passed a bill to create an Office of Nightlife and a Nightlife Task Force to help monitor and support the city’s nightlife. New York City will surely need that after repeal becomes official later today.