New York City

After 91 Years, It Is Finally Legal to Dance in NYC Bars and Restaurants

The repeal goes into effect Jan. 3, 2018

What to Know

  • Mayor de Blasio signed legislation allowing dancing in all New York City bars and restaurants on Monday for the first time since 1926.
  • The law requiring a cabaret license for dancing was originally enacted during Prohibition in a racist attempt to police Harlem jazz clubs.
  • Out of more than 20,000 bars and restaurants in the city, fewer than 100 actually had the license

Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed legislation repealing a 91-year-old law that banned dancing at most New York City nightspots.

In Monday's signing, the Democratic mayor said the law "just didn't make sense." He said, "nightlife is part of the New York melting pot that brings people together."

The City Council voted to repeal the law in October. It prohibited dancing in bars and restaurants that didn't have a cabaret license.

Critics say the law originated as a racist attempt to police Harlem's 1920s jazz clubs and was enforced unfairly.

Nightlife advocates hailed the repeal, which goes into effect 30 days from Monday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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