Patchogue votes no to nightclub, cabaret licenses downtown

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PATCHOGUE -

Dancing on the floors of a downtown Patchogue nightclub won't happen anytime soon.

"We want to keep a certain standard so everybody can enjoy themselves," said Patchogue Village Trustee Lori Devlin, who along with the rest of the trustee board voted to no longer offer nightclub and cabaret licenses in the downtown area.

The ban also restricts existing restaurants from clearing tables and chairs in order to operate like clubs.

"It creates an occupancy problem, and what happens is you get over occupancy, and it's a fire hazard," Devlin said.

The only legally approved nightclub in the village is Stereo Garden, formerly The Emporium, which will have its license grandfathered in.

James Gilroy owns Fulton's Irish Pub on Main Street and says he supports the nightclub ban.

"Other villages have enacted things like this in the past, and they've worked," he said. "There's only so much you can do and so many places you can have and so many staff members, security, entertainment you can fit in a place."

Many residents say the ban will help make the downtown area safer.

"The nightclub ban is probably going to stop, you know, a lot of fights," said Francesco Merante, of Patchogue. "People get drunk, and they take the fights outside. So the nightclub ban is actually a smart ban."

Village officials say Suffolk police and the state Liquor Authority will be conducting spot checks at downtown restaurants and bars to make sure they're not changing their use to a nightclub. The village says violators will face fines.

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