Is the East Village Ready for a Dedicated ‘Nightlife District’?

Not going to happen.
Not going to happen. Photo: Mark Peterson

Here’s an idea: In an effort to alleviate the constant struggle between residents and nightlife venues in the East Village and Lower East Side, some people have put forth the idea of zoning a dedicated “nightlife district” in the area that would concentrate the bars and clubs. But when the plan was floated at this week’s meeting of Community Board 3’s Economic Development Committee, it was met with a resounding “probably not.”

One committee member wondered how the plan would work exactly before noting that former Mayor Giuliani’s effort to put nightclubs in West Chelsea was a “dismal failure” that increased crime in the area.

Paul Seres, vice-president of the lobbying group New York City Hospitality Alliance pointed to the meatpacking district and San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter as examples of bar- and club-heavy areas that work.* CB3 district manager Susan Stetzer is in favor of the plan, but committee co-chair Richard Ropiak said while the idea might have worked twenty years ago in the area, “it ain’t going to happen now.”

Seres later told Grub Street that NYC probably isn’t ready for a dedicated club district, but that it might be able to create one “post-Bloomberg.”

*This posted has been corrected to show that Seres only commented on the plans, not that he spoke out in favor of them.

Is the East Village Ready for a Dedicated ‘Nightlife District’?