It took 82 years, but New York City may finally get its groove back: The Daily News reports today that the Bloomberg administration is in talks to repeal the city's cabaret license laws, or at least make the licenses a little less rigid. As it stands now—and as you know full well if you've spent any time out since the beginning of the Giuliani adminstration—a club needs the license to allow dancing on the premises, and it's both hard to obtain a permit and easy to lose it for the smallest infractions. Over the years, a long list of venues have battled the Prohibition-era ban, although they've rarely prevailed in their legal bouts with the city. A brief (and select) history of the cabaret wars after the jump.
1962 | Playboy Club
City officials deny the club a cabaret license the night before it's set to open. Three years later, the club finally gets a precious permit to dance, but only after agreeing to curb any uneccessary interactions between the bunnies and the patrons.
1987 | Mikell's
The UWS jazz club is shut down by police after officers spot more than three performers playing on stage at once, a violation of the cabaret law provision that allows for "incidental musical entertainment" by no more than three performers without a license.
1996 | Hogs and Heifers
Police padlock the doors at the meatpacking district bar after discovering bartenders dancing on the bars, which leads to the owner to start posting signs to discourage people from dancing. The signs quickly become a staple at bars and clubs around town.
1998 | Limelight
Three years after he was indicted on a variety of charges, club king Peter Gatien is denied a cabaret license for the Limelight. Gatien takes the fight to court and a judge rules in his favor and reinstates the cabaret license, although Gatien later loses the club due to bankruptcy in 2001.
2001 | Twilo
After years of trying (and failing) to shut the club down over reports of drug dealing on the premises, a judge orders that city officials can, in fact, yank the dance spot's cabaret license, putting it out of business.