[NYT] They Want to Sing All Night

NewYork Times (July 14, 1997)
They Want to Sing All Night
New Jersey Daily Briefing

PALISADES PARK Owners of three karaoke clubs are scheduled to appear before a United States District Court judge this afternoon to plead for the right to stay open until dawn. A municipal law requiring all businesses but bars and restaurants to close by 9 P.M. is cutting into the clubs’ profits and its customers’ entertainment, said Christine Bae, a lawyer for the clubs, where patrons sing along to taped background music.
Mayor Sandy Farber of Palisades Park said the Municipal Council had agreed to extend the closing time to 3 A.M. at its next meeting, on Aug. 19. But Ms. Bae said customers, most of whom are Korean-Americans, want to be allowed to sing until dawn and to take alcoholic drinks into the clubs, which the town currently forbids.
Ms. Bae contended that the ordinances restricting karaoke clubs were passed in retaliation for a recent, successful lawsuit by a Korean-owned Ridgewood advertising company. That lawsuit challenged Ridgewood’s ordinance requiring foreign-language signs to include English translations of equal size. Ridgewood, Palisades Park, Englewood Cliffs, Leonia, Clifffside Park and Fort Lee have all rescinded, or are in the process of rescindling, the English translation laws, which a judge ruled were unconstitutional.
Mayor Farber said the karaoke-club restrictions were unrelated to that lawsuit.