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What is a cabaret license?


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Answered 2006-08-17 12:56:31

I kept running the word 'cabaret' over and over again in my mind, as I thought I was familiar with its historical origins. I was thinking of the Mediterranean style brothel, where in addition to singing and dancing, women also entertained the clientele in other ways. However, cabaret commonly refers to entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue — a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting around the tables (often dining or drinking) watching the performance (wikipedia). According to further research on Wikipedia, in the United States cabaret diverged into several different and distinct styles of performance mostly due to the influence of Jazz Music. Chicago Cabaret focused intensely on the larger band ensembles and reached its zenith in the speakeasies and steakhouses (like The Palm) of the Prohibition Era. It is currently undergoing a renaissance of sorts, as new generations of performers reinterpret the old forms in both music and theatre. So, to answer your question, you are basically running a business that involves food and liquor, combined with live entertainment. This requires special licensing. For example, here is an excerpt from the City of Wichita's Web site: "A cabaret license shall be required for any person to operate any cafe, cafeteria, restaurant, tearoom, dining room, coffee house, private club, tavern, drinking establishment or any other place having a floor show, specialty act, disc jockey, or other live entertainment for guests. This includes go-go dancing, and strip tease dancing." And another from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs: "Any room, place or space in the city in which patron dancing is permitted in connection with the restaurant business or a business that sells food and/or beverages to the public. Note: This is only a general explanation of the rules regarding Cabaret licenses. You may not operate a cabaret without a license. Licensees are required to comply with all relevant laws and rules, including the Consumer Protection Law. To get a copy of the actual law explaining whether or not you need a license for this category, call 311 or come in person to the DCA Licensing Center in Manhattan at the address above."

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Answered 2006-08-17 12:56:31

I kept running the word 'cabaret' over and over again in my mind, as I thought I was familiar with its historical origins. I was thinking of the Mediterranean style brothel, where in addition to singing and dancing, women also entertained the clientele in other ways. However, cabaret commonly refers to entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue

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