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Public Safety & Quality of Life

163 West 46th Street, Comedy Club of NYC - application for a cabaret license

WHEREAS, Comedy Club of NYC Inc. ("Applicant") has notified Community Board Five of its intention to file an application with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs for a cabaret license (the "Cabaret License") for a space located at 163 West 46th Street, New York, NY (the "Premises"); and

WHEREAS, The Premises is a huge 11,000 square foot space; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant operates a comedy club with three distinct, below-grade, performance spaces at the Premises; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant produces limited engagement comedic entertainment and/or performance events that often incorporate dancing; and

WHEREAS, Applicant testified that on numerous occasions the Applicant has received violations by the NYPD and/or Mayor's Task Force for audience dancing at the Premises in connection with performance events without a cabaret license and Applicant agreed to provide copies of such violations to CB5; and

WHEREAS, Applicant failed to deliver copies of any violations; and

WHEREAS, After an independent inquiry to all applicable city agencies, CB5 was unable to find any evidence that cabaret violations have ever been issued against the Premises as the Applicant testified; and

WHEREAS, Applicant testified that the Applicant's lease for the Premises contains use restrictions that prohibit use of the Premises as a nightclub and Applicant agreed to provide a copy of such use restriction; and

WHEREAS, Applicant failed to deliver a copy of the use provision of their lease which prohibits use of the Premises as a nightclub; and

WHEREAS, Strong opposition to the issuance of a cabaret license for the Premises was voiced by the West 46th Street Block Association because of the nature of the location as a very residential block and because of the location of a school on the block as well; and

WHEREAS, Strong opposition to the issuance of a cabaret license for the Premises was voiced by The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin because a cabaret operation at that location is inappropriate in such close proximity to the church; and

WHEREAS, Strong opposition to the issuance of a cabaret license for the Premises was voiced by the Hells Kitchen Neighborhood Association because, although the Association has no problem with the method of operation as it is, they are concerned that licensing such a large venue for cabaret will be uncontrollably damaging to the neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, Applicant's failure to deliver the violations and lease restriction provisions as agreed is bad faith and calls Applicant's credibility into question; and

WHEREAS, We find Applicant's purported motive for pursuing a cabaret license in order to permit audience dancing in connection with theatrical performances not credible and not customary in other performance spaces; and

WHEREAS, Potential harm to the community is too great should the Premises be used as a nightclub if a cabaret license is issued for the Premises; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends denial of the application by Comedy Club of NYC Inc. for a cabaret license at 163 West 46th Street, New York, New York.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 33 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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