Why New York Nightlife Establishments Need To Stay Open Until 4:00 a.m.

by AMANDA MELILLO · April 22, 2008

    marqueeDo you remember when David Bouley had to launch war an aggressive PR campaign among Tribeca community members in order to get his restaurant's liquor license approved? And have you been reading about the number of restaurants that are getting their liquor licenses revoked? Or how many new nightlife establishments have a long uphill battle in order to get a liquor license in the first place? I'm not typically a conspiracy theorist, but it would seem the city is cracking down on alcohol consumption. And it turns out, they are!

    The State Liquor Authority, hand in hand with Mayor Bloomberg, are only issuing liquor licenses valid until 2:00 a.m. in their quiet crackdown. When Felissa Dell, co-owner the Meatpacking BBQ restaurant Hog Pit, e-mailed Eater about her restaurants shuttering, she called Bloomberg out on the sneaky behavior and added, "It's very sneaky, but in 5 years the 4 a.m. liquor license will be a thing of the past, without any community input." What? No! Since I cannot imagine New York packing in to go to sleep early, I am beginning the community input here.

    Why New York nightlife establishments need to stay open until 4 a.m., in no particular order:

    This is The City That Never Sleeps. Everyone knows this, the way everyone knows that Paris is 'The City of Lights'. Do we want to undermine a way cooler reputation by being lame? No.

    If we wanted to go get kicked out of a bar at a decent hour instead of living in The City that Never Sleeps, we would have moved to Boston or London.

    New Yorkers work hard. Really hard. They wake up at the crack of dawn, get stress lines while sweating over lines of numbers all day, intake copious amounts of caffeine, and don't sleep enough. And when they want to unwind, they UNWIND. Why would you take that away from them?

    Sure, there's always some drunk girl weaving dangerously outside a club that looks like she's about to vomit in the street, but you can tell by the acrylic heels that she's from Jersey. Your congestion pricing plan might have prevented her from entering the city before it was shot down, but no luck now. However, New Yorkers should not be punished because some people don't know their limits.

    Wall Street is taking huge losses, thousands of jobs are in danger, and we're staring down the shotgun barrel of a recession. So not only does our professional life suck, causing our wallets to seem a little tighter, but you're restricting our leisure time? It feels like we're back in school and getting grounded. Have you done any studies on how nightlife affects the economy?

    If nightlife doesn't really start here until at least 11 p.m., and people have to leave the bar at 2:00 a.m., you're letting them loose on the streets during the high time of the night. This could lead to hanging around shadily in parks with the druggies, drinking more at home and disturbing your neighbors in your quiet apartment building, or all kinds of other imaginable trouble.

    How will we prove to out-of-towners that our life in New York is so much better than theirs?