A cabaret of naked dancers will be used to manufacture equipment for science

It’s officially the end of an era in Quebec. The building of the famous Folichon nude dancers cabaret has been sold and will be transformed into a high-tech laboratory.

The mythical building on boulevard Wilfrid-Hamel will henceforth be used for the manufacture of optical lenses and for medical science.

A veritable institution, the Folichon – also known for its good food – was the number one entertainment venue for gentlemen in the Old Capital and the gathering point for international stars, Nordiques players and influential politicians, discreetly, during 40 years.

“Our strength has always been customer service. A lot of people asked to go incognito and we respected confidentiality, otherwise we wouldn’t have lasted so long,” said former owner Gaétan Bélanger at Log.

He mentions that since it opened in 1980, around 10,000 women have worked at Le Folichon and he estimates the number of visitors at a few million, not counting the hundreds of thousands of meals served.

The pandemic and the shortage of labor will finally come to the end of the trade which had changed vocation in 2021 becoming the Cabaret l’Impresario.

Despite a few good evenings, the owner decided to put his building and land up for sale last August for $1.3 million. It only took a few months for the transaction to materialize.

Doric Lentils

Sead Doric, president and founder of Doric Lenses is the new owner of the premises.

It will take advantage of this new acquisition to carry out a major expansion after the completion of major renovations. Large windows will be added while the stage and kitchen will be dismantled.

“We needed space. It’s a production line that will move into the building,” confirms the man of Bosnian origin.

Founded in 1995, the company has developed a range of products for photonic device assembly needs. The company, which employs 80 people, exports 90% of its production abroad.

Mr. Doric arrived in Quebec at the end of the 80s. Holder of a doctorate in physics at the Imperial College of London, he finally launched his own business from his basement. Today, he is recognized as an important supplier in his field.

As his company settled in a building behind the Folichon at a certain time, when he saw the sign for sale, the opportunity was good to acquire the old strip club.

“When I wanted to explain where we were located, I said: behind the Folichon. No one had ever visited the place, but everyone knew where it was,” Mr. Doric laughs.

Not retired

For his part, Gaétan Bélanger refuses to talk about retirement. Even if he sold his establishment, he keeps the door open to a new project.

“I kept my equipment, so it could be useful. I’ll give myself some time, but I’m always open to new ideas. That’s what keeps projects alive, ”says the 75-year-old man without specifying whether the opening of another strip club is planned.

Mr. Bélanger is very proud of what he has accomplished over the years. Moreover, he wanted to thank his precious clientele who will have followed him until the very end.

In the last year, he had still managed to fill the building with the presentation of musical shows, nothing to do with the traditional dance shows.

“Honestly, on a few evenings it worked very well, but we couldn’t have enough people to work three evenings a week,” he concludes.

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