The Westbrook Zoning Board of Appeals will continue its hearing tonight on the city’s revocation of the occupancy permit for a strip club on Warren Avenue.

The hearing will pick up from a session held Nov. 10 on an appeal filed by Lawrence Ferrante, owner of Dreamers Cabaret.

The occupancy permit for Dreamers Cabaret was revoked on Sept. 20, three days after the business opened.

The club 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, who cited violations such as inadequate fire alarms and sprinkler coverage, and a deficient septic system.

City officials said they didn’t know beforehand that Ferrante planned to operate a strip club in the building at 84B Warren Ave., in an industrial zone.

Ferrante has sued the city, claiming that his constitutional right to freedom of expression was violated. Last month, a U.S. District Court judge denied Ferrante’s request for a temporary restraining order against the city, which would have allowed the club to reopen.

Westbrook had no restrictions on nude dancing until this month, when the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that bans total nudity, prohibits touching between dancers and customers, forbids alcohol service and requires any strip club to close by 1 a.m.

Tonight’s hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Room 114 at Westbrook High School.

Both sides are expected to make presentations. The public may comment.

The hearing could be extended to another day if the board does not make a decision.

Dreamers Cabaret has remained closed throughout the proceedings.


Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at: [email protected]