In Vanity Fair's fascinating look back at the Disco, Ian Schrager had a few things to say about the end of the first part of his nightclub reign, saying:
It wasn’t aids that made the nightclub business difficult. Government regulations did it in. Steve and I did our first nightclub [the Enchanted Garden, in Douglaston, Queens] for $27,000 and Studio 54 we did for $400,000. Now, with all the regulations, fire codes, sprinkler requirements, neighborhood issues, community planning boards ? before you even put on the first coat of paint, you're into it for over a million dollars ...But if Mayor Bloomberg has his way, some of these issues may die a disco death.
In his annual State of the City address, Mayor Mike announced plans for the New Business Acceleration team that will roll out a "streamlined inspection process that will cut red tape for most new restaurants." The Mayor continued:
To make it crystal clear that this is a top priority, this morning I met with the ten commissioners whose agencies interact with small businesses: Small Business Services, Buildings, Fire, Finance, Information Technology, Transportation, Sanitation, Consumer Affairs, Health, Environmental Protection, and even Criminal Justice! I directed all of the commissioners to work hand-in-glove to begin cutting through the bureaucracy and improving customer service.The goal is to get businesses (especially the 4,000 new restaurants that open annually) open faster, so that owners can get employees on the payroll and start earning income on their investments instead of waiting around for government approvals.
There was no mention of bars and nightclubs in the speech, but we all know that the State and SLA are diligently working on that problem. So while no one will be able to open a giant disco for $400,000 ever again, maybe things aren't as bleak as Sir Schrager has made them out to be.
· Disco Inferno [Vanity Fair]
· State of the City Address [Scribd]