New York City Mayor Finally Repeals Prohibition-Era Dancing Ban

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Groovy and with it New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation on Monday officially lifting the city’s 91-year ban on dancing at the majority of its bars.

“It’s 2017, and this law just didn’t make sense. Nightlife is a part of the New York melting pot that brings people together,” De Blasio said in a press release. “We want to be a city where people can work hard, and enjoy their city’s nightlife without arcane bans on dancing.” I love how this was seemingly so easy to do and yet all the other NYC mayor in recent history were like “pass.” Or, in the case of Giuliani, actively did the opposite, using the laws to obstruct and punish nightlife.

The so-called “cabaret laws” first went into effect during Prohibition, in 1926, as a measure to patrol speakeasies by cracking down on dancing. Under the law, it was technically illegal to dance at a bar unless it possessed a cabaret license, which CBS reports only 104 out of the city’s 20,000 restaurants and bars have attained.


In September, De Blasio announced a new Office of Nightlife, presided over by a “Night Mayor,” who will supposedly help ensure entertainment venues aren’t over-policed.

I also applaud De Blasio for taking this step since apart form being the Fleetingly Cool Mayor he is also the Tall Mayor, and possibly an ungainly dancer.

contributing writer, nights

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Will there also be a night court?