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Selectmen Approve Alcohol License for Showtime Entertainment

After a fairly lengthy discussion, the Mendon Board of Selectmen approved an all alcohol license for Showtime Entertainment. During the July 16 public hearing, Thomas Lesser, the attorney representing the applicant came forward to discuss the application.

Nearly 10 years ago, Mendon residents approved

an Adult Entertainment Overlay District. Not long

after, Showtime Entertainment applied for an adult entertainment license for live nude dancing. George

Funari and his son Christopher plan to demolish the elder Funari's business, Oak Tree Supply, 49 Milford St., and then construct the Adult Entertainment establishment.

Town officials placed a number of restrictions on the establishment which included no liquor to be served on the premises, the hours of operation, and the height and size of the new building that is eventually constructed.

The Funari's fought the restrictions and eventually after an appeal, the State's Supreme Judicial Court ruled in their favor. "The Supreme Judicial Court decided that Showtime Entertainment has the right to serve alcohol like any other establishment," said Lesser. "Your past practices in town

show that's an acceptable location for an alcohol license. Virtually every alcohol license in Mendon is on Rt. 16; 10 of them."

Some of the details of the potential strip club were discussed during the hearing. The 2,000 square foot club will contain approximately 74 seats with 103 parking spaces. The courts found that traffic would not be an issue. The building site, which is less than half a mile from the Mendon Drive-In, will be sound proof. Surveillance cameras will be placed outside and an employee will be monitoring the parking lot each night. An off duty police officer will be on site during adult entertainment

hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The last alcohol will be served 30 minutes prior to closing. The owners plan to serve food there as well.

"I understand it's a very charged topic," said Lesser. "We went through three years of litigation with your counsel and we ultimately prevailed. We think we have the right to do this on the limited basis we're asking to do it. We don't want to get into any more litigation but if we have to, we will."

Lesser said the Funari's have no timeline on when construction will begin. Because the elder Funari's

name is on the license application, he is responsible for

the license and managing the establishment. The Alcohol Beverage Control Commission must still approve the liquor license. Showtime must apply for the liquor license each year.

In closing, Selectman Chris Burke made a statement. "I just want to make it known that although I feel we have no choice to move forward with this license, this does not mean by any stretch that I am in support of this business. I don't think it's a good business for our community and it takes away from the character of our community."


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