You can dance if you want to — and now you can do it legally in DUMBO.
One Front Street restaurant has been awarded its cabaret license from the Department of Consumer Affairs, upending some community members’ concern that legal dancing would turn the three-story bar into a raucous dance club.
Now the folks at the eatery are gloating — by doing the exact opposite of what Community Board 2 members thought would happen when the majority voted against the license in November.
“We know not everyone will be thrilled,” said Ron Alan, the restaurant’s spokesman, “but we look forward to proving them wrong when we open our third-floor ballroom … to a dinner and dancing series.”
For four Saturdays starting on April 17, $50 gets two people a four-course meal, Champagne, dance lessons and old school ballroom music until midnight.
“Think swing, Latin, the Charleston and the hustle,” Alan said. “It fits with the building’s character.”
Last year, nearby residents attacked the license proposal at a community board hearing, worried about the noise and concerned that the restaurant would end up as a hip-hop club.
“It’s a very residential area even though it’s zoned for manufacturing,” said Community Board 2 Chairman John Dew. “A lot of community members came to the meeting to regale various experiences with that sort of thing.”
He said the board isn’t against dancing overall — it did, in fact, give a nod in February to River Café’s cabaret license in a less populated area — but he is “hopeful that it won’t cause a problem.”
Alan and One Front Street owner Marcelo Pevida said they just want to make good on a formality to make dancing legal in a space that’s already rented out regularly for family events. The month of dancing is part of a wider campaign to bring people to the restaurant, Alan said, and the show will go on if it catches on.
But will DUMBO get pumped for the Charleston?
“We have no idea — it’s an experiment,” Alan said. “But we’ve teamed up with a great dance instructor and we know people want to come dance. It’s a service to the community, but we have zero plans to have club nights or DJ residences.”