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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:45 am 
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Location: Boston
Former coffee-shop owner wonders if Bellavance is the arsonist

While Raymond Bellavance Jr. was found guilty on Dec. 30 of burning down the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, the man who lost his business and his home in the fire says he is not resting easy.


Crabtree owned and operated the shop, which featured topless waitresses serving coffee and doughnuts, in the restaurant area of a former motel on Route 3. The business drew national attention and stirred local controversy when it opened in February 2009.

It was destroyed by a fire that started just before 1 a.m. June 3, 2009.

The night before the blaze, Crabtree went to a meeting of the Vassalboro Planning Board, seeking permission to lengthen the hours and turn the coffee shop into a strip club.

"What bothers me the most is that three hours after a strip club meeting, there was a fire," he said.

Crabtree said his business was thriving until the fire, which investigators immediately determined was arson.

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