A strip club owner in Portland, Oregon, had to shut down because of a social distancing order from the governor. He found a clever new way to keep himself and his employees working: Have dancers in near-topless costumes deliver dinners to area residents.
It all started with a joking tweet after Oregon governor Kate Brown issued an order to close all bars and restaurants for anything but takeout or delivery to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Shon Boulden, co-owner of the Lucky Devil Lounge and Devils Point strip clubs in Portland was just kidding when he tweeted this. But to his surprise, people began contacting him to ask if the strippers would be delivering to their area. "I was like, 'Holy shit, this may be something that actually works,'" he told Rolling Stone.
It really should have shocked no one that in the Pacific Northwest, home to bikini baristas, people would assume that this was a real service. In any case, Boulden saw an opportunity and ran with it.
He came up with a simple business model: Pairs of exotic dancers (accompanied by a driver/bouncer) would deliver meals to customers for a $30 delivery fee (plus tips). The fee would be divided between the club and the dancers. They would wear face masks and gloves and pasties over their nipples and not a whole lot more. They would set the food by the door and then perform a little dance for customers from at least six feet away. (They'd wear sweaters on their way to and from the delivery so as to stay warm and avoid shocking the neighbors.) Both the dancers and the club would earn a lot less than they normally did, but it would be much better than nothing. The service would be called "Boober Eats."
Uber was not amused.
The idea immediately went viral, with lots of media attention and orders pouring in. Unfortunately, a cease-and-desist order also came in from Uber, which is famously litigious and not at all amused by the name. Boulden immediately capitulated. "I'm pretty sure Uber is a billion-dollar corporation, and we're Lucky Devil Lounge," he told Willamette Week. Besides, he said, losing the name hasn't hurt business in the least. The service is busier than ever and media interest continues to be strong.
What name will replace Boober Eats? For now, Boulden is using the name Lucky Devil Eats, but that may change if something truly funny comes along. He told Willamette Week that his friends have proposed a bunch of new names on social media, among them "Peels on Wheels," "Pole Mates," and "Porn Grub." He's still looking for ideas.