Sunday, October 22, 2006

Post Up for Clubs

In today's NY Post the paper editorializes against the proposal, advanced by the Bloomberg administration, that would allow the city to shut down a club for two violent incidents or for two violations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. The Post's key point: "Let's be clear: Mayor Mike should go very slow before burdening one of the city's most important industries with more regulations."

The paper goes on to indicate that the harsher regulations could make it very difficult for new clubs to start up and, in the view of the Alliance, would send a big "not in New York" signal to clubowners who would begin to look for more hospitable venues to invest their money in (something which is already happening because of the new SLA crackdown). As the Post highlights this is no way to treat an industry that generates roughly $700,000,000 in tax revenues every year.

The Post hits on another key issue when it indicates that the proposed regs would treat the
clubs as presumed guilty if an untoward incident occurred-something that bars and clubs all over the city are experiencing at present when they call the police to help quell potential trouble. As David Rabin is quoted saying in today's editorial, "Why on earth would I call the police ever again if I'm risking my entire business?"

The paper goes on to say that the clubs need to be more proactive in order to avoid draconian measures, yet it leaves out the most significant variable in the entire equation-the role of the police. Nothing will be done to really create a safer club atmosphere unless the cops begin to treat the industry as "one of the city's most important" ones. The mayor's proposed crackdown should not make anyone sanguine that this will happen soon.