New York authorities briefly revoked the licence of M2 this week after cops told a Judge the 3,000 capacity Chelsea superclub was the ‘Wild West of drug dealing, marijuana smoking and violent, out-of-control crowds’ (New York Times).
The NYPD based their claims on undercover cops spotting one serious fight and just 9 minor drug sales over the last 18 months, the Times reported, to the consternation of M2’s lawyer Robert S. Bookman.
“The club has a zero tolerance for drug use and zero tolerance for violence, and they spend a fortune on security,” he told the Times, going on to dismantle the cops claims about the significance of the (admittedly brutal) fight.
“Despite best efforts, it doesn’t mean that two people on a crowded dance floor aren’t going to throw punches at each other. You can’t blame the establishment for that happening, and certainly you can’t justify shutting an establishment down for that happening,” said Mr Bookman.
Four weeks earlier, M2 also made the pages of the New York Times after details emerged of how the Bloomberg administration are trying to close it for failing to enforce the City’s smoking ban strictly enough. The paper revealed that Health inspectors had recruited an undercover team of ‘younger and hipper-looking’ agents to spy on nightclubs where admission policies are stricter.
“Some of the clubs where smoking is going on tend to be very, very cool clubs,” Health department boss Thomas Merrill told the Times, “And a bunch of guys showing up in jackets tend to be very, very uncool.”
Manhattan nightlife columnist Steve Lewis backed up M2’s assessment.
“I called an in-the-know sort who told me, “Typical cop bullshit, there were a couple of minor fights and undercover smelled marijuana and of course cigarettes,” said Lewis in his column on Blackbookmag.com, “The funny thing about the smelled marijuana part is, if the cop couldn’t actually find the culprit how can club security be faulted?”
Just days later, M2 announced that they’re re-opening immediately after ‘working closely with the city and NYPD to create guidelines’. Swedish house Mafia type Steve Angello was delighted.
“Morning People!!” he Twittered (on Wednesday April 21), “M2 in New York will be opened on Friday so clean your dancing shoes and make sure you have a good night sleep. It’s ON.”