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Thursday, 8 November, 2001, 11:58 GMT
De Niro bids to revive NY nightlife
Robert De Niro
De Niro owns restaurants in the Manhattan area
Film star Robert De Niro has taken 500 guests out to dinner in Manhattan in a bid to revive the city's once thriving nightlife.

The area's economy has suffered a massive slump in the wake of the US tragedies.

Too many people's livelihoods depend on us returning

Robert De Niro
The double-Oscar winner took out friends and a handful of emergency workers involved in the rescue attempts of 11 September.

A reception was held at his TriBakery restaurant before open-top buses took his guests to nearby restaurants.

Among invited guests was firefighter Tony Costance, who had come straight from the funeral of one of his colleagues who died as the World Trade Center collapsed.

He said: "I came tonight because, despite all the pain of recent weeks, I was determined to have a good night out again.

"I think all New Yorkers need to start trying to do the same if the city is going to get back on its feet."

Ground Zero
Workers are continuing to clear the site at Ground Zero
De Niro, a native New Yorker, who owns a number of restaurants in Manhattan, is concerned that businesses in the district could go bust if people continue to stay away.

Some have reported an 80% drop in takings since the attacks.

Before the tragedy Manhattan had the reputation of coming alive after dark with bars, clubs and restaurants attracting crowds seven nights a week.

"Too many people's livelihoods depend on us returning," said de Niro, who is a native New Yorker.

"Downtown was always the city's heart and soul and whatever else they have done to us, we can't let terrorists tear that away."

See also:

03 Oct 01 | Showbiz
Broadway shows recovery signs
25 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
All-star telethon raises $150m
30 Oct 01 | Showbiz
Hollywood plans patriotic gesture
08 Oct 01 | Film
Hollywood re-think expensive
13 Sep 01 | Film
Hollywood 'changed forever'
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