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Swedish strip club continues McDonald's-inspired expansion

David Landes · 9 Jul 2009, 11:35

Published: 09 Jul 2009 11:35 GMT+02:00

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“There are many, many people in Sweden who want to be able to see a striptease,” strip club owner Dragan Bratic told The Local.

When Bratic recently opened his “McDragan's Drive In!” strip club near Falköping in southern Sweden, McDonald’s threatened legal action over the bar’s logo, which featured two breasts placed together in the shape of an ‘M’.

A McDonald’s spokesperson told The Local that Bratic eventually agreed to change the sign, thus ending the trademark dispute.

Meanwhile, the strip club owner has been drawing inspiration from the hamburger chain when it comes to his own expansion plans.

“My strip clubs are going to be as common as McDonald’s,” Bratic told the Barometern newspaper ahead of the June opening of a new club in Skogsby on the island of Öland off Sweden’s southeastern coast.

“There’s going to be a McDragan’s in every city.”

Local officials and many residents, however, are less than thrilled that Bratic has chosen their community for his new club, Café Absolut Nöje (‘The Total Pleasure Café’), Bratic’s fourth overall in Sweden.

“This is a terrible low point and proof of moral poverty in our municipality,” Staffan Larsson, head of Mörbylånga municipality, told the newspaper.

“When you consider that it’s so close to the Torslunda school, it downright hideous.”

The club’s opening has also prompted sporadic demonstrations outside the club by local residents.

“It’s a shame that strip club has been started in this kind of little building, so close to a school and a daycare centre,” said one of the demonstrators when the club opened on June 17th.

Opponents of the club were given hope that the club would be shuttered when it was revealed that Bratic has failed to seek a permit from local police for carrying out public performances.

While the oversight resulted in the filing of a complaint for disturbing public order, police admitted the matter was not a high priority and that there wasn’t much they could do to force the club to close its doors.

“It’s a bit strange, but we can’t take action for example or deny the club’s request before they apply for a permit,” said police spokesperson Ulf Karlsson to Barometern.

Bratic told The Local that he neglected to request a permit from police because he had not been required to do so when opening other clubs in Sweden.

But the police explained that they viewed the matter differently in Kalmar County, and in early July they finally received an application from Bratic.

“Now we can make an assessment and see what sort of public exhibition this is,” said Karlsson.

“We’re going to go to Skogsby and check the place out.”

Specifically, police will attempt to determine whether or not the striptease crosses the line into a pornographic performance.

“The differences between them are sometimes small and hard to discern. But there are limits for what a striptease can have,” said Karlsson, adding that if the performances include sex toys or physical contact they could be considered pornographic.

If the club is found to feature pornographic shows, not only would the permit request be denied, but the owner could face fines or up to six months in prison for violating Sweden's laws against arranging public displays of pornography.

But Bratic isn't concerned, saying he would welcome the police to visit his establishment at any time.

“I'm not the least bit worried,” he told The Local.

Story continues below…

“The rules are very clear and there's nothing I'm going that can make them close me down. The club is open, doing well, and will be around for years to come.”

Bratic is currently working on expanding his "McDragan" strip club concept abroad and is also exploring the possibility of utilizing franchises.

"Right now we're looking at Vancouver. I'm working day and night so that we're ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics," he said.

Bratic also thinks the disgruntled residents of Skogsby will eventually grow to accept him.

"They don't bother me. They have a right to not like what I do," he said.

"But I'm sure that, with time, they will get used to us."

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:34 July 9, 2009 by justanotherexpat
"...common..." yup, sounds about right.
13:56 July 9, 2009 by Miss Kitten
Here's the original thread (started my moi) discussing this guy's feeble attempt to explain how he isn't trying rip off McDonalds:

07:39 July 10, 2009 by peropaco
What represents a high priority for the Swedish police? Someone driving 10 kilometres above the speed limit; arresting teenage kids for jumping the turnstile or harassing a young entrepreneur for selling cold drinks at any of so called beach in Stockholm? We all know how inept and inefficient is the Swedish police; and my bet is that either they were paid to look the other way; or they are afraid shitless of Dragan Bratic as he may be connected to an organized crime gang from the Balkans. We all know that most of the girls working at hose joints are not there by free will.....
23:06 July 10, 2009 by hereandthere
This guy and this place are a disgrace. I live on Öland, and this kind of place is total out of character here.

Besides that, I can't imagine there are enough losers that would pay to see this "show"...This town(if you can call a church, a school, a couple stores, etc...a town) is also in a fairly remote area...he sounds delusional if he thinks people are going to make him money here...
16:49 July 11, 2009 by Jeremy Slawson
I sense a disconnect somewhere here, striptease is regarded with prudish disapproval whilst outrageous numbers of rapes happen at pop festivals. At least the strip joint is a controllable situation.
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