NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York is once again the city that never sleeps.
On Monday night, the midnight curfew was lifted for bars and restaurants, and comedy clubs quickly started to return to full swing, CBS2’s Ai Bauman reported.
“It’s kind of what we’ve been waiting for,” bartender Richard McNulty said.
McNulty, who works at 3 Sheets Saloon on West Fourth Street, said he is thrilled the COVID-19-era midnight curfew for indoor dining is no longer in effect.
“Because we’re known for staying open until 4 a.m. When everybody lost that it was like a part of the nightlife died, so this is a chance for it to come back and I think people are eager for this. It’s symbolic,” McNulty said.
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Around the corner, the Comedy Cellar was at full capacity for the first time in 14 months, and with a fully vaccinated audience.
“It’s extremely important for the community to go back to normal because comedy shows were suffering from a lack of energy, which comes from people being shoulder to shoulder, having a crowded room, all the things that make a comedy club work,” owner Noam Dworman said.
Patrons must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours before entering. They then must get their temperature taken at the door.
“It’s a lot more peace of mind to just have everybody safe, have all the audience safe, the staff safe,” Dworman said.
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This week, the famed comedy club Carolines on Broadway is holding its first shows in more than a year, thanks to federal grants expected to arrive from the Save Our Stages Act.
“It goes to getting everybody back to work. It goes to pay your electric bill. It goes to pay for food,” owner Caroline Hirsch said.
Hirsch was so moved, she made Sen. Chuck Schumer, who sponsored the legislation, the headliner for the day.
“Sixteen billion dollars, a lot of which is going to flow to New York,” Schumer said.
The 1 a.m. curfew for catered events also ended Monday and the curfew for outdoor dining was lifted two weeks ago. So whether you’re sitting at the bar or sitting front row, “I think everyone in the city is saying the summer is gonna be wild,” ticket holder Paulina Kuo said.
The owner of the Comedy Cellar told CBS2 the club had to raise ticket prices when it had limited capacity and had to adhere to the curfew, but now it has lowered its prices back to pre-COVID rates and on Monday night all of its shows were completely sold out.