The Bostonization Of NYC: More Neighborhoods Demand Bars Close At 2 AM

One of the things that used to make new York City great is that all the bars stayed open until 4 a.m., so you could support your local businesses long after residents of other more provincial cities had tucked their dainty livers into bed. But more and more—and especially in Manhattan—2 a.m. is becoming the norm for last call, because local community boards are withholding liquor license approval unless barkeeps agree to shut down early. We’ve seen this happen all over the lower East side, the Meatpacking District, and Tribeca, and now Harlem is the latest part of town to demand veritably Bostonesque hours of operation.

“I think we have way too many liquor establishments,” Hazel Dukes, a board member at Community Board 10 tells DNAinfo, which reports that there is a “bar boom” in Harlem now, with requests for liquor licenses on the rise. And some of the local residents don’t want Harlem to turn into the lower East side or Murray Hill, where Community Boards have pushed back against a booming bar scene. So CB 10 is considering asking new applicants to agree to a 2 a.m. closing time.

Obviously, bar owners are not pleased, and some point out that this would put them at a distinct disadvantage to other establishments already operating with 4 a.m. last calls. Nikoa Evans-Hendricks, who runs a Central Harlem business alliance, tells DNAinfo, “The bulk of business is done Thursday to Sunday. Many Harlem bars and restaurants have to do in four days what bars and restaurants downtown have seven days to accomplish. if we are trying to market part of Harlem as a nightlife neighborhood, what’s the point if establishments shut down at 2 a.m.?”

Seriously, if you can’t drink until 4 a.m. in Harlem and then stagger out and wander the streets in search of some more fun, what the hell’s the point? of course, if all the Community Boards unite in demanding 2 a.m. closing times, then there won’t be many other options. And that means we’re losing one of the precious ways in which NYC is superior to Boston! Thankfully, there’s no shortage of reasons to feel superior. (Kidding!) (But seriously, Sox SUUUUCK.)

The Bostonization Of NYC: More Neighborhoods Demand Bars Close At 2 AM


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