Strip club owner appeals license denial

Christy Aceto of Wantagh protests outside the site

Christy Aceto of Wantagh protests outside the site of the proposed "Billy Dean's Cabaret." (March 27, 2011) (Credit: Kevin P Coughlin)

A day after the Town of Hempstead denied a cabaret license for Billy Dean's property in Wantagh, the strip club owner's attorney said Thursday he would appeal the decision.

The board of appeals on Wednesday denied the license application of Green 2009 Inc. for the site at 3500 Sunrise Hwy., where Dean wanted to open an adult entertainment club. A cabaret license would have allowed Dean to open the club, but prohibit topless, bottomless or nude entertainment.

Area residents have opposed the club, fearing it would be comparable to Billy Dean's Showtime Cafe in Bellmore, which bills itself as "Long Island's Number 1 Strip Club."

Hundreds of residents attended a public meeting in May and pushed the board to deny the license. Some town officials and political representatives also opposed the club, even though the board initially approved the application in June 2010.

"It wasn't unexpected that the application would be turned down because of the positions taken by the town supervisor and other public officials supporting the neighbors," William S. Cohn, a lawyer for Dean, said Thursday. Dean has 30 days to appeal the board's decision.

Cohn, of Uniondale, said Dean is prepared to pursue all of his legal options to overturn the denial and have the earlier approval reinstated.

"We would seek a court order permitting us to start operation while the case is pending," Cohn said. "We will be continuing to the end. There is no question about that."

Residents said a club would damage the area's character, increase traffic and create parking problems.

Dean "does not have a legal right to have a cabaret here," said Kevin Milano of Wantagh, who organized protests. "We are very confident if it goes to appeals that we would certainly win."

Town Supervisor Kate Murray said her administration would defend the decision. "There is not going to be a cabaret here if we have anything to do with it," Murray said.

Construction at the site will continue, Cohn said.

"Hopefully, we will be opening in the near future," Cohn said. "Then we can be judged by what we are doing and distinguish it from what people think we might do."

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