WANTAGH - The Town of Hempstead is now requiring all new restaurants to have windows on all building sides, and one business owner says the measure is targeting him to prevent the opening of his proposed cabaret.
The owners of Billy Dean's Showtime Cafe in North Bellmore on Tuesday blasted the Hempstead Town Board for proposing a law requiring new restaurants to have windows on 15 percent of the structure. The board says the measure is for health and safety reasons.
Billy Dean and his partner, however, say the move is just another way to keep them from opening what they call a new, Las Vegas-style cabaret on Sunrise Highway in Wantagh.
“Restaurants that are affected are ones that need a certificate of occupancy," says owner Rori Gordon. "I have the only restaurant in the Town of Hempstead that does not have a certificate of occupancy. This law was written to keep us a moving target."
Some area residents have been protesting Dean's yet-to-open facility for nearly six years. There have also been a number of court battles over the plan. Dean says his legal team is still trying to force the town to grant them a cabaret license. He adds that the entertainment would be a cross between cabaret, "America's Got Talent," and a Coney Island sideshow.
"We have no desire to be an adult-entertainment facility," Dean says. "We're trying to get ourselves into another avenue of business."
Dean says the building was inspected 39 times during its construction. No one at any point mentioned windows to him, he says.
The Town of Hempstead passed the measure late Tuesday morning.