Billy Dean is aiming to have a “Las Vegas style feel” at his planned Wantagh establishment under construction on 3500 Sunrise Hwy.
Dean used "Sin City" during his description of his new business venture during Wednesday’s Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) rehearing to determine whether he will be granted a cabaret license for the Wantagh property. Many in the community fear that adult entertainment will be featured in the planned Wantagh facility, similar to what is offered at Billy Dean's Showtime Cafe, a strip club in North Bellmore that Dean opened in the late 90's.
The Hempstead BZA granted Dean a cabaret license last year for the Wantagh property on the corner of Oakland Avenue, but scheduled Wednesday’s due to vocal that has mounted against the development as well as a belief that not enough people were notified of his plans during the application process.
“It is going to be a very Las Vegas style feel,” said Dean, who purchased the 3500 Sunrise Hwy. property two years ago for $950,000. “We’re going to do a variety of Las Vegas-style acts.
Dean, a Commack resident, also said during the hearing he has bought the adjacent house located behind 3500 Sunrise Highway where he will locate his office for the new business. Dean said he has spent in excess of $188,000 on repairs and alterations to the building and plans to spend at least another $100,000 before completion.
Dean said some examples of entertainment that will be featured include jugglers, knife throwers and dancers. Dean said at the hearing that no minors will be permitted in the business during evening hours and the facility will stay open until 4 a.m. Occupancy at the business would be 75 patrons with eight employees, according to dean.
Many of the over 200 people who packed Wednesday’s hearing at Hempstead Town Hall expressed concerns that Dean’s experience with strip club operations will mean the Wantagh establishment will also offer adult entertainment, which would wreak havoc in a residential community with traffic as well as bring down property values.
“I just don’t think it’s the right place for it,” said Dominick Bellezza, who lives in the vicinity of the planned business just south of Sunrise Highway on Woodward Avenue.
“I am the one who is going to be affected the most,” said Chris Peterkin, a Vietnam War veteran who lives three houses behind the property where Dean is constructing the entertainment facility.
Elected officials also spoke out against Dean’s application at the beginning of the hearing including Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Hempstead Town Councilwoman Angie Cullin, R-Freeport, and Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick.
The Hempstead BZA reserved decision following the over seven hour hearing and is expected to make its ruling on Dean’s cabaret application this summer.