New York City proposes 24 hour nightlife ‘districts’ following lockdown

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Following the mass closure of nightlife venues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, New York City’s senior executive director at the Office of Nightlife Ariel Palitz has proposed that venues in certain districts be given jurisdiction to remain open all night long. This differs from New York’s existing licensing laws, under which venues are prohibited from the sale of alcohol after 4AM. 

Speaking further on the proposed “24 hour party zones,” Palitz told WCBS, “We are recommending this as a pilot to identify areas where 24-hour use might be appropriate; new licenses that are committed to hosting community programming in exchange for this allowance in certain areas have proved wildly successful.” Palitz and Office of Nightlife officials are currently identifying potential locations. These should be areas with low residential density and adequate access to public transport. 

The proposal first came to light last month after the 160 page NYC Mayor’s Office For Nightlife Report 2018-2020 was published. Palitz’s proposal aims to help nightlife venues recover after the pandemic, by allowing them the opportunity to extend their business hours and potentially make back losses quicker. The idea to establish zones or “districts” where 24-hour licensing will be applicable comes from Palitz’s investigations into cities such as Amsterdam and Berlin where these districts form an integral part of the city’s culture and economy. 

The Office of Nightlife was instituted in 2017 as a channel for the city to connect with nightlife workers and elevate the industry, which it regards as of significant cultural and economic importance. Palitz, a former nightclub owner, was appointed director.

You can read the full NYC Mayor’s Office For Nightlife Report 2018-2020 here