A large dumpster outside of the infamous Great Neck Road North location was likely indication enough.
Then, shrubberies were planted in front of the building and the facade painted.
It is now highly unlikely that Zachary’s Pub will make a comeback as Cape Cod’s one and only strip club.
The owner of the former longtime club, Richard E. Halpern, brought his permit to Mashpee Town Hall recently and surrendered the adult-entertainment license in a rare instance of a public license forfeiture.
The Mashpee Board of Selectmen accepted the turning in of the license at its regular meeting on Monday, June 3, with little fanfare.
Town Manager Rodney C. Collins said that with the surrender of the license, anyone looking to reopen Zachary’s would need to start over, which would require an approval from the board of selectmen.
If the chairman of the board’s comments are any indication, the likelihood of an affirmative vote from the current board would be slim.
“There will be no more floor shows in a residential area,” Selectman Andrew R. Gottlieb said.
The town’s current zoning does not allow adult-entertainment venues within residential areas.
Mr. Halpern sold the Mashpee property in early May. The Barnstable County Registry of Deeds recorded the $2 million sale of the Great Neck Road North property on May 7.
The grantees listed in the deal are Juan Marichal, who works at Seaport Village Realty in Hyannis, and the River Bend Village Trust. An attorney representing Mr. Marichal said that he plans to rent out apartments on the property and has no interest in running a club. The businessman rents out properties around the Cape.
In a message to his employees in May, Mr. Halpern announced that he was retiring.
“I’m 76 years old and I have two children, a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, and I decided to retire,” Mr. Halpern said.
Zachary’s was a bit of an anomaly when it first began hosting nude dancers. Mashpee, as Town Planner Evan R. Lehrer explained, did not have a section in its bylaws allowing or not allowing adult entertainment. Because there was no mention of it in the town’s zoning, Mr. Lehrer said that adult entertainment was allowed. Technically, he said, it would have been allowed anywhere in town.
Then in 1998, after some residents protested the operation of a strip club in a residential area, Town Meeting passed an ordinance specifically for adult entertainment. The bylaw provided “reasonably regulated areas” for adult entertainment venues, but did not prohibit them entirely. Because Zachary’s had been opened prior to the bylaw, it was allowed to continue its operation.
The zoning ordinance that passed Town Meeting allows adult-entertainment uses within C-1 and C-2 commercial zones, which is essentially Mashpee Commons and the surrounding area, as well as a few commercial areas near Dino’s, on Main Street, and the eastern end of Route 28.
The clubs are not allowed to open within 500 feet of a residential area, 1,000 feet from a school, or 1,500 feet from another strip club. One goal of the bylaw was to restrict creating a hub for strip clubs or to prevent the “clustering and concentration” of adult-entertainment establishments.
Mr. Lehrer said that he did receive at least one inquiry from someone interested in reopening the club. Mr. Lehrer said that he referred the person to the town manager.
Mr. Collins said he has not received an application to reopen the club.