Thursday, June 4, 2009

Isn't It Too Cold For That?

Dateline Augusta, Maine.

A topless coffee shop, the Grand View (I'm still chuckling over that) in Vassalboro (just outside Augusta, the state capital) burned on the night of 2 June.

The daring business was unpopular with its neighbors, but apparently did a brisk business with clientele from the capital and surrounding communities. It was not insured.

In today's Kennebec Journal is a report that the investigation has confirmed that the fire was deliberately set. It also highlights some very interesting timing:
The fire came just four-and-a-half hours after [Grand View owner Donald] Crabtree had finished a meeting Tuesday night with the Vassalboro Planning Board.

Crabtree outlined proposals to extend the shop's hours of operations to 1 a.m., expand the parking lot for employees and have its wait staff dancing to the music of a disc jockey. Crabtree had wanted to expand the business into a strip club, but he had scaled back those plans Tuesday night to avoid needing a new permit.

The timing of the fire has left Crabtree with troubling questions.

"What gets me is, why now? Why not when we opened? Why is the time now? I don't know," Crabtree said.

I'm at once surprised that straight-laced Maine would allow such a business anywhere (with the possible exception of Old Orchard Beach) and disturbed that anyone would think that burning down a business would solve the perceived problem.

And I'm stunned that anywhere in Maine is temperate enough for topless anything.

H/T Petulant at Shakesville.

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