Does anybody remember JoAnn’s Chili Bordello? Man, do I! May I introduce myself: I am known everywhere I go as MADAME JOANNE! It was my distinct honor and privilege to have been hired in l983 to perform at JoAnn’s Chili Bordello in Manhattan Beach, California, AND JoAnn’s Chili Bordello in San Pedro, California. These were the only two chain locations here in Southern California.
JoAnn’s was not your usual theme Restaurant, it was EXCEPTIONAL! It was a play on a Bordello from the Turn of the 20th Century, New Orleans style. When you walked in the front door you stepped back in time to another era, and I got to play the Madame! I greeted customers at the door, and had my own act in which I played the piano and sang. Our two stores were fortunate enough to have piano players and entertainers who were schooled in the Disney tradition, myself included. We took classic naughty blues songs and cleaned them up. We strove to provide a "naughty but nice" atmosphere, no bad language, nothing that could be considered lewd or obscene. It was an "Adult Disneyland!" We were the only stores in the chain who had our own Theme Song, "Show me what you got for sell!"
The menu claimed, "17 Varieties of Chili served in an atmosphere of sin!" We sold Chili dishes named after our "girls!" We kept the place packed, and we catered to everyone, including families, members of the Clergy, Port Police, Businessmen and women, Merchant Seamen, the American Navy and the Australian Navy! I was awarded plaques from both Navies. My Boss, Johnny Lee, once told me, "Joanne, I’ve known a lot of Sailors who had a woman in every port, but you’re the first woman I’ve known who has a Navy in every port!"
Everyone had fun who went there, repeat business was unbelieveable, and even now, 25 years later, I’m still being recognized and applauded everywhere I go here in San Pedro. I remember one older gentleman who came up to me, laughing and smiling, and said, "I’ve been to a lot of real Bordellos in my day, but I’ve never had THIS MUCH FUN!"
You had to be there to appreciate it, and if you had been there you would never forget it!
I have photos if anyone is interested. Any questions? The haughty, naughty, Madame Joanne