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Babylon Village denies pizza shop owner permission to stay open late

An undated Google view of Gino's Pizza, on

An undated Google view of Gino's Pizza, on Deer Park Ave. in Babylon Village. Credit: Google

A Babylon Village pizzeria owner who asked the village board for permission to stay open until 3 a.m. on weekends has had his application denied.

Trustees voted 4-1 at last Tuesday’s meeting to deny the application by Keith Dahmen of Gino’s Pizza, on Deer Park Avenue, with Debbie Basile casting the dissenting vote.

“I don’t think we should be catering to people that are in need of food who might be abusing alcohol at two and three in the morning,” Mayor Ralph Scordino said in an interview. “I don’t think that’s in the character of the downtown Babylon business district.”

Dahmen, whose shop is a quick walk from the village’s Long Island Rail Road station, had sought to capitalize on the late-night munchies of bar patrons in search of a snack before heading home.

For several months starting last Thanksgiving, he did brisk business until 4 a.m. on weekends — not realizing, he said, that he was bound by a 2005 agreement with the village to close at midnight on Friday and 11:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Trustees were displeased over what he said was an inadvertent mistake and reluctant to experiment with schedule changes they feared could have encouraged the late-night crowd to linger.

A few other village businesses keep late hours, but their situations are different. Domino’s Pizza, on Cooper Street, stays open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday but offers only takeout and delivery. Mary Carroll’s pub, on Deer Park Avenue, stays open until 4 a.m., but bars and restaurants with a liquor license are governed by the New York State Liquor Authority, not the village, Scordino said.

Roughly two dozen bars, restaurants and cafes clustered around Main Street and Deer Park Avenue have helped turn Babylon’s downtown business district into one of the most successful on Long Island’s South Shore, aided by easy access to the LIRR station, the last stop on the Babylon line.

Dahmen, reached at his shop last week, declined to comment.


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