VASSALBORO, Maine – Donald Crabtree says he opened the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in 2009 so that he, his staff and his customers could smile.
Crabtree isn’t smiling anymore.
Following a recent notice from the town’s code officer that the shop was violating zoning rules by displaying new signs – one advertised a benefit topless car wash – Crabtree said this week that he plans to close the controversial business on Route 3 when his inventory is sold in the coming months.
“I wanted to have some fun; I wanted to see people smile,” Crabtree said. “I started the topless coffee shop to do that, and it did. But now my smile’s gone. I’ve fought that fight for more than two years now and no matter how hard I try to make this work, somebody sabotages me.”
The shop, which has featured topless waitresses serving coffee, garnered national media attention when it first opened in this rural community, provoking outrage among many residents. It has prompted Vassalboro and many other communities to adopt ordinances regulating where and when sexually oriented businesses can operate
Click for the rest of the story by Scott Monroe in The Morning Sentinel.
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