Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NYC Cocktail Week, Gun Bar, Club Scanners and Lap Dance Lawsuits

Nightlife News for June 15th, 2011
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

NYC Cocktail Week (June 15-29)
Liquor.com is partnering with more than a dozen cocktail lounges in NYC to provide a special menu for the end of June. Proceeds go to City Harvest

The Non Art of the Lap Dance
A court in Albany recently ruled that a strip club has to tax patrons who receive lap dances. This tax will increase the cost of a $20 lap dance to $22, excluding the tip. The court rejected the idea that a lap dance is a form of art that is exempt from taxation. While the tax on lap dances might not affect you, the ruling does because it implies that dancing, all forms of dancing, is not art and can be regulated by the government. This idea is central to the cabaret laws that currently prohibit dancing in venues that don’t have a cabaret license. Dancing is art and should be treated that way whether you are talking about ballet dancing, belly dancing, break dancing or even lap dancing.

ID Scanners
The NYPD is pushing a proposal to operators to install ID scanners at venues. The measure is being marketed as a deterrent from everything to underage drinking to terrorism. Opponents of the measure, including civil rights groups claim that privacy rights would be violated by the collection of these databases. The underlying issue revolves around what happens to the names, addresses and social security numbers of patrons. Will operators be able to sell those databases to promoters, marketers and other corporations? Will security people like Darryl Littlejohn be able to use it to find potential victims? Will cops like Kenneth Moreno be able to use it to find potential women to abuse? The scanners might curb underage drinking, but they could also open up a completely different set of problems.

Economic slowdown doesn’t hurt liquor sales.
The latest figure show what operators have known for a long time; regardless of the economy, people will drink. In good times they drink higher priced options to celebrate their success. In bad times they drink lower priced options to forget their problems. While venues are clearly fighting for business harder than ever based on sites like Groupon and Living Social, high price cocktail lounges are still opening on a regular basis. Drinking might be one of the few recession proof industries we have left.

New Venues
Gun Bar
The Meatpacking District opens its own version of the LES dive bar, complete with bottle service and tattoo parlor (two things that probably shouldn’t be in the same building)

Lot on Tap
The new extension to the High Line has added gold to the end of the redesigned railroad. A beer garden has been placed on the north end of the park for the summer of 2011. Now you can start your Highline stroll with a beer at the Standard beer hall and end your stroll with a beer at Lot on Tap. If you are a beer lover, what could be better?

The Terrace at Yotel
The new rooftop bar in Times Square claims to be the biggest, but can it be the best in a market that has more rooftop options than ever before?

Have fun.

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