NYC clubs are full, but many are still in debt

“Everyone was almost forced to work together, there was no other option to understand every new rule, new law,” said Good Room manager Sophia Sempepos. “Everyone communicated the procedures they were following,” she continued. She also heard stories of other locations giving each other booze to help fill.

public records, a music and performance space in Gowanus, Brooklyn, managed to weather the pandemic by changing its business model, which also made it eligible for several scholarships.

“When we first started Public Records in 2019, it was really a music and culture space with a great bar,” said Francis Harris, a co-founder. But in August 2020, the location reopened as a garden restaurant, becoming a vital revenue driver and enabling the company to keep many of its employees on board. “We always wanted the drink and food program to be on a par with the music and cultural programming, and the pandemic allowed us to rebuild it from scratch,” added Mr Harris.

Some clubs met a more bleak fate. Chinese chalet, a dim sum spot by day and glamorous party destination by night in the Financial District, announced its final closure last year. Even if the club kids had returned, the business wouldn’t have been sustainable without the lunch and dinner crowds from nearby office towers, said Alexander Kellogg, a former nightlife consultant and liaison for China Chalet.

Beverly’s, an artist-run nightlife and exhibition space on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, closed its original location on Essex Street in July 2020. all of them,” said Leah Dixon, the director of Beverly’s. “So when the pandemic hit, we didn’t have any savings to get us through it.”

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