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June 3, 2009 | last updated November 30, 2011 11:52 pm

Vassalboro's topless donut shop burns

A controversial topless coffee shop in Vassalboro was gutted by a fire early this morning, hours after its owner pitched the town on his plans to expand the business.

The State Fire Marshal is still investigating the cause of the 1 a.m. fire that destroyed the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop and severely damaged an adjoining building where owner Donald Crabtree and six of his family members and acquaintances lived, according to the Kennebec Journal. All occupants escaped unharmed from the building. Crabtree spent $277,000 buying and renovating the building, which he said was not insured.

Last night, Crabtree met with members of the town's planning board to discuss his plans to extend his hours of operation, add music and allow his waitresses to dance without having to apply for a new permit that would be subject to a proposed ordinance to regulate sexually oriented businesses, according to the Morning Sentinel in Waterville.

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