The girls are back in town — or they will be this week — when Shotgun Willie’s reopens as a topless bar.
“We’re working our tails off right now trying to get a stage up,” owner Aaron Johnson said Monday afternoon. He said he hopes to be reopened Wednesday.
Johnson tried in early September to reinvent the business at 2808 West Main St. as a neighborhood watering hole, removing the stage and the stripper pole and renaming it Dispensary.
“I missed the boat on that one by a mile,” he said. “It was just overwhelming how many people actually were requesting it back.”
Johnson, who is trying to sell the business, also thought it might be more attractive to buyers if it was not a topless bar. Instead, “the interest in it as a gentleman’s club is way exceeding it as a neighborhood bar,” he said.
Johnson kept his adult-oriented business license and the Shotgun Willie’s sign, which will be back in place sometime this week. Some of his topless dancers will also return, although Johnson said he has hired some new dancers, too. He said he is working on some business changes that will benefit both the dancers and the bar.
Customers might notice one difference from the old Shotgun Willie’s. Johnson dropped his drink prices when he changed the bar format, and those lower prices will remain in place.
“We’re just going to keep it priced still as a neighborhood bar,” he said. “We’re just going to run it as a neighborhood bar with dancers, bottom line.”