Arsonist Strikes Topless Maine Coffee Shop

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2009 4:20 PM CDT
Donald Crabtree, owner of the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop, right, joined by his brother Paul Crabtree, center, and Krista MacIntyre, left, a waitress at the coffee shop.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The fire that destroyed a controversial topless coffee shop in Maine late last night was arson, the Kennebec Journal reports. The police are seeking witnesses “who might have seen vehicles parked in that general area around 1am Wednesday morning or anyone walking along the roadway.” Seven people escaped the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro as it burned, and no one was hurt.

The community is deeply divided about the establishment, the AP reports. “I don’t think the business was doing any harm,” said one local. A waitress concurred. “We should keep on going, get back up and make it an even bigger place.” Not all agree: One man said 97% of locals oppose the shop. “I’m a Christian and I don’t want this trash in my backyard,” said another woman. “No good can come from it.”