Summerside — A local businessman is closing up shop just a week after opening.
After leasing the former Rockin Rodeo location on Water Street in Summerside, P.E.I., Ralph LaForge acquired all the necessary permits to open the Island’s first and only gentlemen’s club, “Anne’s Green Gables,” which featured topless and nude dancing, a local seafood buffet and bottomless P.E.I. craft beer after 12 a.m.
LaForge was inspired after a trip to Angie’s in Moncton, when he noticed there was a vacuum in the exotic dancing industry on Canada’s smallest province. Attendance soared for the first few days as word spread about the club; however, it began to dwindle as people took note of the too-local talent it employed.
The Manatee found some former patrons who agreed to speak with us using pseudonyms. We interviewed “Bill” first.
“I went in to see what the fuss was about on Tuesday after work,” he recalled. “I really liked the ambiance, and the seafood buffet was on point. However, the girls on the stage were all cousins of mine.”
Frank, a 34-year-old patron, had a similar experience. “I loved the local craft beers on tap, and I thought the club was a great idea, but I can see my third-cousin-twice-removed naked any time. It didn’t seem right to have to pay for that.”
The club made enough money to cover the lease agreement for the quarter, but LaForge thought it best to close down when all of the ratings on the club’s Facebook page indicated that patrons were unwilling to pay to see their cousins, sisters and aunts dancing. It was the one-star Facebook reviews that put the nail in the establishment’s coffin.
“I didn’t want to run just another P.E.I. seafood buffet,” lamented LaForge. “My biggest regret is that I won’t be able to fulfill my advertising contract in the community magazine that Jim MacKenzie is publishing this summer… I hope going out of business is an OK reason to void the agreement. Our Canada Day two-page spread was going to be great!”