WESTBROOK — The owner of a strip club in Westbrook that is closed because of code violations apparently has workers putting in late hours to make repairs.
At 1 a.m. Sunday, police were checking commercial buildings along Warren Avenue when they “came upon activity that appeared to indicate that Dreamers Cabaret was open for business,” the city said in a news release, even though the club’s occupancy permit had been revoked in September.
Inside, a few women were serving coffee while the music system blared, a disco ball spun overhead and lights flashed, Westbrook police say.
Adam Goodwin, who told police that he was in charge of the property, called the club’s lawyer, Tom Hallett, after the officers entered.
After Goodwin talked to Hallett, he told police that the six or seven men there were plumbers making emergency repairs, the city said in its release Wednesday.
The four women were “simply bringing them (the plumbers) coffee,” Goodwin said. Officers couldn’t identify any licensed plumbers in the group or see any evidence of emergency repairs or construction, the city said.
“They certainly weren’t dressed like plumbers,” said Police Chief William Baker, who declined to provide any more details about the incident, citing an ongoing investigation and the advice of Westbrook’s lawyer.
Hallett said Wednesday that he got on the phone with the officers and told them that, unless they had a warrant, they had to leave, which the officers did.
Outside, they called in the city’s fire inspector, who arrived and looked around but didn’t issue any citations, Hallett said.
Police did arrest Lacreshia Edgerly, 27, who had an outstanding warrant on a charge of negotiating a worthless instrument.
Hallett said the people inside Dreamers Cabaret were workers, although they may have been doing framing, not plumbing.
The club’s lighting system comes on when the music is turned on, he said, accounting for the disco ball and the flashing lights.
“All I know is, they were working,” he said. “I’m at a loss as to what is involved, besides the continued childish behavior of the city of Westbrook.”
Dreamers Cabaret opened with fully nude dancing on Sept. 17 and was shut down the next day by the city’s fire inspector and code enforcement officer
Hallett says the city withdrew the club’s occupancy permit because officials found out that Larry Ferrante’s Dreamers Cabaret was a strip club.
City officials say that inspectors found code violations, including inadequate sprinklers, and that Ferrante hadn’t obtained construction permits for work that was done inside the building at 84B Warren Ave.
Hallett said the city, which rushed through a new ordinance regulating strip clubs shortly after Dreamers Cabaret was shut down, doesn’t want the business operating in Westbrook. The ordinance bans full nudity and alcohol in strip clubs, and sets a closing time of 1 a.m.
Sunday’s predawn incident “suggests that the police are being a little overvigilant,” Hallett said. “This is much ado about nothing. Quite frankly, it makes me want to scream. I think they’re working like dogs to get the final work done.”
Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: