Anyone who has ever returned from the basement of Lit smelling like death, regret, and cigarettes incarnate probably nodded in recognition today as the Daily News reported that the Health Department is considering pulling the liquor licenses of M2 Ultra. the Box, Southside Nightclub, Imperial, and the East Village’s own Lit Lounge for numerous documented violations of the city’s ban on smoking in clubs. It’s an open secret that there are still places you can still smoke to your heart’s content in New York, a fact that apparently wasn’t missed by the Health Department’s “sharply dressed spies,” who “nursed drinks,” observed the so-called crimes, and then happily narced to their city bosses. Cruelly, there are fines in place for offenses like these that the city is basically ignoring in favor of trying to get the clubs closed outright.
“We went out and stumbled upon some pretty flagrant disregards for the law,” said New York’s deputy commissioner for environmental health, Daniel Kass, “and decided we weren’t interested in settling with these establishments.” So instead they went to court today to try and shut them down. Frankly, some of these places seem like abominations that could happily be swept off the face of the earth — we’re looking at you M2 Ultra, site of last week’s cash-incinerating Sweet 16 party for Diddy’s son Justin — but Lit will always have a dear, shameful place in our hearts and we hope it survives this inquisition. God knows the place has shrugged off worse.