Mayor of Reykjavík and a few MPs were among the people who queued up for private sessions at Stígamót’s champagne club which opened on Thursday night.
“There was a lot of interest and our oldest and most experienced women were the most popular ladies,” Guðrún Jónsdóttir, manager of sexual assault crisis centre Stígamót, told mbl.is.
Guests included mayor Jón Gnarr and his wife and a few MPs but politicians had received a special invitation.
Guðrún was obviously thrilled about the success of the opening night but earlier this week, Grapevine interviewed her about the new operation:
Why are you setting up a champagne club here?
Because we’re very cultural and on top of what’s new in town and also, we need to raise money for our organization so we thought it would be a splendid idea to combine this and open a champagne club. It’s the trend in the city’s nightlife and we think we’re fully capable of running this sort of club.
Have you imported or hired foreign staff to work at the club?
No, actually we haven’t thought of that but it’s a good idea, we’ll look into it! The women who work here are simply so talented and after we announced the opening of the club, loads of women have volunteered to participate, amongst them a ballerina and an opera singer. There are plenty of artists willing to perform.
Are the club nights going to be a regular event at Stígamót?
We’ll just have to see how the opening night goes. Obviously, we expect cash flowing in. We have six rooms so six women can give private performances at any given time. That makes altogether 120,000 ISK per for every ten-minute slot, and that repeated numerous times in one night must make such a club an incredible source of income. So yes, if everything goes well, we’ll make this a regular fund raiser.
So what will your ladies be offering here?
It’s so diverse. Þórunn who will chant rhymes. I’ve often heard her, she’s very good at it. Anna Þóra, who has supervised our self-help groups for women who have formerly worked in prostitution, is going to sing about that experience; Anna Bentína will offer an intimate, and entertaining conversation about rape. The founder of Stígamót, Dr Guðrún Jónsdóttir [not to be confused with the Guðrún Jónsdóttir answering these questions], will give a ten-minute talk about the history of Stígamót, which I think is a very exciting performance. Then there’s Tedda, who’s knitted ponchos are incredibly popular, she’s going to teach people how to knit their own. The list goes on and on! Our speciality however is that our clients can drink as much free champagne as they want during those ten minutes.
Did you research the other clubs before setting up your own?
Not really, we’re competing with them so obviously we have to do something different. We will offer champagne of course, as we’re told that‘s the essence of champagne clubs, but our customers can have as much free champagne during those ten minutes as they can possibly consume.
Do you expect to steal customers from the other champagne clubs?
I’m not sure, for our opening night we’ve invited the mayor, the police commissioner, all the ministers, MP’s and the city counsellors so I’m not sure there will be much room for the general public, but we’ll see what happens later. At least there’s obviously a lot of demand for this sort of club so we’re very excited.