Friday, October 19, 2007

Clubs are Trump

In what we think is a historic agreement, the city has announced a new nightlife policy that creates a working partnership between the traditionally adversarial NYPD and the clubs. This is a working relationship and collaboration that the industry has long sought-particularly after the bad publicity from two years ago when a number of club-related (but not caused) homicides.

In addition, the new arrangement is the result of the hard work of the New York Night Life Association (NYNA), and its leadership, particularly Rob Bookman and Dave Rabin. Since we've helped NYNA off and on over the past few years, we know just how hard Rob and Dave labored to achieve yesterday's agreement with the city's police force. As Bookman told the Post: "No establishment has to fear calling the police again." The Times summarizes: "The police encouraged the clubs to report problems and seek help when needed. Club owners have been reluctant to call 911, fearing that they would blamed and subjected to tickets, arrests and challenges to their liquor licenses."

And a great deal of credit needs to go to Speaker Quinn, who we've criticized in the past on a number of issues. The NY Sun's take on this; "The nightclub industry and city officials led by the City Council speaker, Christine Quinn, have been at odds in the past after a year-long effort to tackle problems with the city's $9 billion nightlife industry, including underage drinking and unlicensed bouncers," misstates the situation. It was Quinn who spearheaded the diplomacy that led to yesterday's deal.

The deal symbolizes what should characterize all of the relationships between the city and area businesses: collaboration and not confrontation. All too often the neighborhood bar, restaurant or bodega is seen as a pinata to be beaten for revenue, and not as valued businesses that should be seen as an essential part of the city's mosaic.