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Westbury nightclub allowed to reopen

The storefront of the Avanti nightclub in Westbury.

The storefront of the Avanti nightclub in Westbury. (Jan. 19, 2012) Credit: Ian J. Stark

A Westbury nightclub can reopen as a cabaret bar, the village board has ruled, more than a month since officials effectively shuttered the club.

Citing noise and garbage complaints and a violation of the building's adult uses clause, the board said in April it would not act on a renewal application from Avanti Night Club, on Post Avenue. Mayor Peter Cavallaro alleged that online ads, for which club management would not take responsibility, promoted a "swingers' party."

At a May 2 meeting, Cavallaro openly clashed with club representatives. Club managers have denied sexual activity took place in the club.

Club officials promised to take measures to address noise concerns, with soundproof doors and a foyer added to the back of the building. Gennaro Tallarico, the club's manager, pressed the mayor for a speedy decision, saying the waiting amounted to a death sentence for the business.

After the board ruled in a 5-0 vote Thursday to approve the permit, Cavallaro said the reopening is on a "probationary basis." The club has to renew the permit after six months. In a telephone interview Friday, Cavallaro said he met with residents Monday to discuss the nightclub's comeback.

"The village has to weigh the gravity of the circumstances and the history and violations involved with the severity of the punishment," Cavallaro said.

Reached by telephone, Tallarico declined to comment.

Based on the new permit, which carries stricter regulations, the club must close by 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Before, it stayed open until 4 a.m. on those nights, Cavallaro said.

The nightclub must buy a decibel meter and abide by noise level limits.

Another clause holds the club responsible for inappropriate advertising, Cavallaro said. "They can't advertise in a way that's a violation, even if they don't intend on having an event that's advertised that way."

Cavallaro declined to comment on another clause, which if violated would result in the permit's revocation. An event is considered "adult use," it reads, "in the event . . . this location serves as a link in a chain leading to an adult hotel or motel use which is distinguished or characterized by its emphasis on sexual activities or sexual anatomical areas . . ."

Nick Martone, who has lived behind the club's location since 1970, said neighbors were disappointed by the renewal. He mentioned the newly renovated, $10 million performance arts center set to open across the street.

"I don't know what I'm supposed to do," Martone said, recalling noisy nights. "We'll see when it happens."

Said Cavallaro, "They have six months to prove whether they're a good neighbor or not." He added, "If they can't comply with the law, this is probably their last chance to do that."

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