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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Topless coffee shop a hit in small Maine town

Posted by on Feb. 28, 2009 at 9:00 PM
  • 19 Replies

What do you think about this?

 

(CNN) -- It's a tough time for businesses, but one entrepreneur may have found the recipe for success.

Male and female servers go topless at Grand View Topless Coffee Shop.

Male and female servers go topless at Grand View Topless Coffee Shop.

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On Monday, Donald Crabtree opened Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, Maine, where the waiters and waitresses serve their customers topless.

In a town with fewer than 4,500 residents, the topless coffee shop is booming with business. Paul Crabtree, the owner's brother, describes business so far as "fantastic."

"It's just been crowds mobbing in," he said.

Donald Crabtree faced initial opposition to his plan, but he won the right to go ahead in a planning board hearing last week. Many local residents were irate over the idea of combining coffee and nudity. Crabtree, however, saw a profitable business venture.

"I know what people want," he said. "People like nudity, and coffee is profitable. Sure, I'd start a coffee shop, but I'd be out of work in a week."

The flood of job applications -- more than 150 -- for Grand View Topless Coffee Shop reflected the rough job market.

Crabtree hired 10 women and five men under stringent requirements, including friendliness and, what he considered most important, that the wait staff "treat everyone equally." Watch townspeople, employees talk about coffee shop Video

"We didn't hire '10s,' " he said, referring to appearance. "We hired everyone from skinny to big-boned women."

Of the 15 selected, most had been laid off from other jobs in the past few months.

Elvis Thompson of Brunswick, for example, was a line cook at a restaurant before he lost his job. "They couldn't afford me anymore," he said.

He said he doesn't mind fielding interesting requests from customers.

"An 80-year-old woman told me she wanted to see me in spandex," Thompson said. "I just feel really lucky to have a job. I need the money so I can pay my rent."

Ginni Labree from Palermo, Maine, said she applied to several restaurants before being hired at the Grand View. All the restaurants declined to hire her because of her lack of experience.

"I'm so excited, so excited to have a job," she said.

The coffee shop jobs are paying off. One waitress received a $100 tip for a cup of coffee, and most of the wait staff make about $30 a table.

Although the topless coffee shop has been open less than a week, Crabtree said he is already seeing regulars. Customers include a variety of individuals, but mainly couples and females.

He also sees his new business venture as a temporary fix for customers struggling through tough economic times.

"The economy is so bad," Crabtree said, "Everyone's losing their homes, their ties, everything they own. People leave here happy and can't wait to come back. It's nice to see people smile again."

by on Feb. 28, 2009 at 9:00 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Kim370
by Member on Feb. 28, 2009 at 9:06 PM

Well, times are tough.  people have a choice to go to the shop or not.  Personally, I wouldnt go because I do not drink coffee and I wouldnt want to see boobs at a coffee shop.  lol Just seems like coffee and nudity do not go together. 

Junebug926
by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2009 at 9:10 PM

I think the novelty will wear off quickly.

Wyldbutterfly
by Bronze Member on Mar. 1, 2009 at 5:56 AM

Sex sells. It's a know fact. I personally think it's morally degrading on so many levels.

In today's world everything is overly sexualized. Is it any wonder that so many young kids today choose to have sex before marriage? And what is truly sad is they think it's okay to do so.  It's in their faces 24/7. They hear it in music. It's everywhere.

I am not a prude I just have some morals left in a country that seems to be throwing them right out the window.

I wouldn't want that "coffee" shop in my neighborhood.

cmarielin
by on Mar. 1, 2009 at 8:38 AM

Ditto to this.  Sex may sell, but not every town is going to welcome such a business within it's limits.  Mine wouldn't. 

blowing kisses

Quoting Wyldbutterfly:

Sex sells. It's a know fact. I personally think it's morally degrading on so many levels.

In today's world everything is overly sexualized. Is it any wonder that so many young kids today choose to have sex before marriage? And what is truly sad is they think it's okay to do so.  It's in their faces 24/7. They hear it in music. It's everywhere.

I am not a prude I just have some morals left in a country that seems to be throwing them right out the window.

I wouldn't want that "coffee" shop in my neighborhood.


"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."  ~Patrick Henry 


http://www.cafemom.com/group/35896

pirate_wife
by Member on Mar. 1, 2009 at 8:41 AM

100 dollar tip for a coffee? I would do this job for that kind of money. Honestly money is really rough right now, and if that is what it takes to pay the rent and feed and clothe my child, then i am all for it. Sex does sell, always will, and atleast they are not stripping or whoring themselves, they are just serving coffee.

athenax3
by on Mar. 1, 2009 at 8:45 AM

No shocker, topless anything generally has some measure of success and when the economy stinks there are two industries that benefit from poor, depressed people, alcohol and sex- the staple of American life, lol...


jalex
by on Mar. 1, 2009 at 8:57 AM

My thoughts exactly!  This is ridiculous...  I would hate to have to explain this to my 8 yo. 

Quoting Wyldbutterfly:

Sex sells. It's a know fact. I personally think it's morally degrading on so many levels.

In today's world everything is overly sexualized. Is it any wonder that so many young kids today choose to have sex before marriage? And what is truly sad is they think it's okay to do so.  It's in their faces 24/7. They hear it in music. It's everywhere.

I am not a prude I just have some morals left in a country that seems to be throwing them right out the window.

I wouldn't want that "coffee" shop in my neighborhood.


     

lmills
by Member on Mar. 1, 2009 at 9:51 AM

I would really feel uncomfortable going into a topless coffee shop or even a topless any other store.

moneysaver6
by Gold Member on Mar. 1, 2009 at 11:40 AM

That's so sad.  So sad.  I'm sorry to hear tha the only way those people could get jobs was to take their clothes off. 

And tell me, if the economy is SO rough, how exactly are the townspeople managing $30-$100 + for a CUP OF COFFEE.  Oh that's right.  It's not for coffee.  It's for the strip show.

Amy

Junebug926
by Bronze Member on Mar. 1, 2009 at 11:47 AM

This!

Quoting moneysaver6:

That's so sad.  So sad.  I'm sorry to hear tha the only way those people could get jobs was to take their clothes off. 

And tell me, if the economy is SO rough, how exactly are the townspeople managing $30-$100 + for a CUP OF COFFEE.  Oh that's right.  It's not for coffee.  It's for the strip show.

Amy


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