New NYC nightlife businesses symbolic of post-pandemic entertainment


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- New York City is emerging from its pandemic slumber.

New nightlife businesses are opening across Manhattan as people yearn for socialization and entertainment.

"We've seen a lot of larger venues opening up that really have a focus on dancing," said Ariel Palitz, senior executive director of the city's Office of Nightlife on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

Dance clubs are a callback to a pre-pandemic oasis.

"In the past, there was an era that started from the large format dance and went into the lounge and then went into the bottle service, and now, I think there's really a desire to be around people and to dance and to listen to loud music," said Palitz.

The hospitality industry has been the slowest to recover with jobs lagging behind the full national recovery. But, the Office of Nightlife points to positive signs after a strong summer and early fall with elevated demand.

"We need to be around each other and to socialize and we got a glimpse of a world of what that meant not to be able to go out, not to be able to dance and not to be able to socialize with our friends and that is a world I don't think anybody ever wants to go back to," the city administrator said.

Palitz, who owned and operated the now-closed East Village nightclub Sutra Lounge for 10 years, noted the hospitality industry is a vital economic engine driven by socialization.

"I think the beauty of the hospitality industry job is that it's historically been a great stepping stone for people who are going to college, who are in Broadway, who have a(n) aspiring music career. And I think as those industries also recover, so will the hospitality jobs that help to supplement incomes for people who are pursuing other dreams."

She told WCBS 880 her experience owning the Sutra Lounge taught her to make sure people feel seen and respected and that "their good time matters."

See more on the return of nightlife on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.

Featured Image Photo Credit: NYC Office of Nightlife