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Nyack store serves up burgers – not porn

NYACK – It’s been more than two years since community protests stopped an adult bookstore and video booths from opening on Route 59.

Now, the site – a retro-style structure that was once a car dealership showroom – will open in about three weeks as a circa-1950s, family-oriented hamburger joint, aptly called the Nyack Burger Hop.
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“It’s kind of a complete 180 when you look at it,” said Craig Fishel, a Clarkstown North High School graduate and Palisades resident, who is opening the new restaurant with his father.

Probably the most obvious change at the location are the black-tinted windows of the porn store, which never were replaced with clear windows.

Still, brown paper was put up over them to hide construction at the location, where workers yesterday could be seen milling around on the roof and indoors.

Store owners around the new restaurant were glowing about the prospects of a non-porn-related business, saying they were happy to know that their customers won’t have to see an adult bookstore across the street.

A state Supreme Court justice stopped a Queens-based adult entertainment business from opening the bookstore in 2006, and the company soon gave up on its development plans.

“I prefer the burger shop over the porn shop 200,000 times over,” said Jean Chery, owner of Jean Advance Auto Repair, which is next door to the new restaurant.

Chery, who has run his business in the village for nearly 28 years, said he frequently had protested the opening of the adult bookstore at village meetings.

He said Nyack has been known for its antique stores and restaurants, not porn – and he wanted to keep it that way.

Mayor John Shields couldn’t agree more.

“What can I say? I think it’s much better for the village,” he said yesterday, adding thatan adult bookstore could have brought more crime to the area.

Fishel said the restaurant’s cooks would prepare fresh hamburgers and french fries and that Nyack Burger Hop also would sell hot dogs.

The restaurant also will showcase a wall of local heroes, Fishel said. Every week they will add a local firefighter, do-gooder, high school athlete or cop.

He added that the location’s past wasn’t really relevant to his business, but he was glad to provide something more welcomed by the community.

“I don’t think that this area and the community needs adult entertainment,” said George Hogan, owner of Hogan’s Nyack Diner on Route 59. “I have a family restaurant here, and I wish the new burger guy good luck.”

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