Contact Us

Williamsburg venue Muchmore’s suing New York City, saying cabaret laws are unconstitutional

Shamir’s dance-friendly set at Muchmore’s during Northside (@brooklynvegan)
CMJ Flyer

Enacted in 1926, ​the New York City’s ​cabaret laws were originally to put the kibosh on illegal booze. After the repeal of prohibition, the law — which requires clubs and bars to get an expensive permit for dancing — went largely unenforced until the Giuliani administration and his efforts to clean up the city. Williamsburg club/coffee shop/venue Muchmore’s is taking a stand against cabaret laws, suing the city:

Andrew Muchmore​, owner of ​Muchmore’s Cafe ​in Williamsburg, filed suit in Brooklyn federal court to challenge New York’s ​cabaret laws ​- which prohibit danci​​ng ​by more than three people at one time unless the venue has a cabaret license.

In the suit, he cites the first and 14th amendments and claims the tight restrictions against patrons shaking their money makers have forced him to play ​sedate if not ​dreary tunes at his nightspot​ and coffeehouse.

The real estate attorney argues the stricture prevents him from cranking beats that might actually tempt patrons to ​want to dance ​- and thus break the law, according to his s​​uit.

To avoid any potential skirmish with code enforcement officers, Muchmore avoids hosting acts that “involve dancing or would tend to elicit dancing,” the suit states.

Instead, Muchmore plays ​safe ​wallflower genres including “folk music, rock music, experimental electronic music, jazz and other forms of music that are not conducive to dancing,” the suit states. – [NY Post]

!!!‘s 2003 dancepunk touchstone “Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard (A True Story)” confronted cabaret laws and NYC powers-that-be in its own funky way. Stream it below…

Check It Out

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://www.brooklynvegan.com using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for BrooklynVegan quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!