These are tough economic times in central Maine. So a local entrepreneur decided to add an extra attraction to a new coffee shop there to drive up sales: a topless waitstaff.
During the permitting process for the Grandview Topless Coffee Shop the prospect of having a cafe with a peep show element gave residents of Vassalboro, Maine the jitters. But after a government board granted the business a license on a 5-0 vote more than 150 of the town’s 4,000 residence applied for a job.
According to the owner those ultimately hired for the waitstaff—10 women and 5 men—were chosen for their “friendliness” and represent a range of ages and body types. It’s like a real-life coffee shop version of The Full Monty.
The Grandview is not the world’s first topless coffee shop. There’s one in Amsterdam and the another in Las Vegas. But what’s remarkable about the Grandview is how completely unremarkable the place is. The exterior windows are tainted black and there’s an Over 18 only sign on the front door but the yellow building off the highway is otherwise nondescript on the outside. It is rather nondescript inside too, with furniture that looks like it might have been purchased at a garage sale. The coffee tastes like it might have been purchased from a garage sale too. Tea, hot chocolate and donuts are the only other menu items.
And on the off chance you are wondering, the Grandview has a strict “no touching” policy when it comes customer-waitstaff interactions. Any thrills you get at this coffee shop will have to come from the caffeine.
June 2009 update:
Spot Cool Stuff is sad to report that the Grandview Coffee shop was burned down by an arsonist on June 3rd, 2009.
Our sadness isn’t a commentary on the morality, or not, of such establishments. The Weltanschauung that drives our travel blog is that the richness of diversity, the breaking of expectations, the questioning of boundaries and the pushing beyond them is a large part of what makes human existence on this planet beautiful. America has 11,000 (!) Starbucks outlets. Surely the country is large enough for one tiny topless coffeeshop out in the middle of Maine.
We hope the Grandview will reopen. Check back here for the news when it does.