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Sauna Fragata - Sao Paulo


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After several decades of “entertaining” countless clients and garotos, Sauna Fragata is scheduled to close its doors, forever.


Those who have visited Fragata over the years, might have noticed that the sauna is located in a mixed business/residential area. The area is predominantly composed of numerous apartments and condominiums.


The owners of the building that houses Fragata received a monetary offer from builders who desire to demolish Fragata's location as well as the immediate adjoining buildings in order to construct a large apartment/condominium complex.


The sale and closure of Fragata is contingent on the builder obtaining necessary building permits and approval to construct the desired project. As of last Friday, it appeared that the sale will be accomplished within next few months. In the meantime, Fragata remains open but no longer has the large crowds and fun times of by gone days.


Upon learning of the upcoming slated closure, my questions were why don't the Fragata owners simply move Fragata to a new location or sell the business to a third party. I did not receive an answer for these questions.


It was reported that the expected gain on the sale of the building is so large, the owners merely want to “cash out” and no longer operate a sauna.


Sao Paulo has had some wonderful saunas disappear over the past ten years. Alterosas, Bon Vivant, Boys Club, Paradise are some of the saunas that closed during my recollection. Those saunas had owners who truly tried to make a go of operating each sauna. Each owner treated clients and garotos courteously and tried to make a business of the sauna, yet the saunas failed.


Ironically, the only surviving rent-boi sauna in this huge city of more than fifteen million people will be Sauna Lagoa, if the sale of Fragata goes through. What a shame, the two most inconsiderate and undeserving owners (Edgarde and Rodolfo) will operate the only successful rent-boi sauna in Sao Paulo.


Unquestionably, for the many who visited Fragata over the years, Fragata will be missed with fondness.

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So sad to hear this news. Fragata had become my "go-to" sauna in Sao Paulo....especially during the time I lived in SP from 2005-2007. During my first travels to SP in the late 80's, I initially would go mostly to Lagoa. That changed over time as I gravitated more to Fragata which I found to be a more friendly and welcoming place.

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This is indeed a pity. I have been to Sao Paulo twice this year and had many visits to Fragata. I must say it was quite busy on each visit and did not appear to be in decline from the point of view of boys and customers. It is starting to need a refurbishment but remains a lot of fun.



You are correct about Fragata " - - not appearing to be in decline from the point of view of boys and customers" but your observation was earlier in the year and before the news got out of the upcoming sale of the business.


Yes, the sauna is popular. That is why I am not clear why the owners do not move the sauna to a different location before or when the sale becomes a certainty.


If the current owners do not want to operate a sauna, the sauna could be relocated and sold to future buyers. The sauna has name recognition and would likely succeed if operated efficiently.


I am not ignoring the major start up costs that would be involved in moving and setting up facilities for the new location of Fragata. However, moving an existing named saunas compared with starting a new sauna are quite different with respect to future survival of a sauna. As was previosly mentioned, others have started saunas in Sao Paulo but those saunas did not survive. A new sauna with "name recognition" has a far better chance of survival than a mere new "start up" sauna.


During the past couple of weeks that I went to Fragata, news of the sale and impending closure had already leaked to the clients and garotos. The "impending" doom of the place is now evident by the major recent drop in both clients and garotos.


Let us hope that the current owners reconsider and move the sauna before the sale is final and/or before more customers are lost.


Like I previously wrote, I certainly hope that the huge city of Sao Paulo does not end up with only one rent-boi sauna owned and operated as Lagoa.


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My most recent visit was late September and it was in full swing then.



I just got back from Brazil yesterday. I go there quite often.


I only heard the news of the proposed and upcoming sale of the building and closure of the sauna this last trip (last week). You wrote that your trip was in September. A lot of things can happen in a few months, especially in Brazil.


It appears that you missed the part of my post where I wrote " - - - - and before the news got out of the upcoming sale of the business."


Last Sunday I stayed at Fragata only one and one-half hours because the place was so quiet and contained only a handful of garotos and clients. As you may know, Sunday and Tuesday are usually Fragata's best and busiest days.


One thing feeds on the other. The clients are aware that the sauna has a short life span which causes the clients to stay away and/or visit Lagoa instead of Fragata. The garotos are aware of the upcoming closure and notice that clients are not as plentiful as they previously were. Therefore, garotos do not want to spend money on transportation to and from Fragata plus pay an entrance fee only to leave Fragata without engaging a client or making any money.


It would be nice if something could keep the place (to quote you) "in full swing" until the actual sale takes place.


I am certainly at a loss to understand why the sauna currently draws so few clients and garotos except for the knowledge that the sauna in on its last legs, so to speak. I am also at a loss to explain why other saunas in Sao Paulo and Rio closed even though those saunas appeared to be viable businesses.


It is just the way it is - nothing in life is permanent.


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What is a garoto?



"Garoto" is a Portuguese word (the language spoken in Brazil) that literally translates to "boy" but that is not what is means in terms as used in a Brazilian sauna. Quite simply, a garoto (sauna speaking) is a young man who is available as a hustler.


There are other fine tuning ways to define the term but the above as close as you will get when referring to hustlers in a sauna.


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Brazilians change their mind just as do Americans - - -


A couple of weeks ago I reported the planned closure of Fragata, provided the sale of the building went through.


This morning I learned that Antonio (the majority owner of Fragata) and his physician partner have reconsidered selling the building because of unsatisfactory additional stipulations related to the sale/purchase.


So, as of today, December 6, 2013, Fragata is no longer slated to be closed.


Of course, this could change again but as of now, the owners of Fragata have announced that the proposed deal to sell has been cancelled.


What does this mean? For now, Fragata will remain in business.


Word has to get out that the sauna is not closing.


Previous announcements (by the owners) concerning the closure of the sauna caused a sudden and severe drop in the number of clients and garotos visiting the sauna. That has to be reversed if the sauna is to remain a fun place to visit.


My last visit to Fragata a couple of weeks ago was like visiting a sick friend. The place was depressing and had only a handful of clients and garotos. I will be returning to Brazil again next month and will visit Fragata and will do all I can to encourage friends and acquaintances to visit Fragata.


If anyone from this forum plans to visit Sao Paulo, please be sure to include a trip to Fragata. Like I wrote previously, Tuesday and Sundays nights are the best days to visit Fragata.


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  • 3 weeks later...
Any updates on Fragata?



I am still in the U.S. but will return to Brazil in a week. My friends who live in Brazil reported to me that Fragata had a "great" xmas party and that many clients and garotos were in attendance.


A friend will be visiting Fragata on Tuesday and will report back about the quantity of clients/garotos in attendance.


The owners realize that it was not a good idea to announce that the sauna would be sold. Of course, that announcement caused a big loss in business. Now that the word is out concerning the cancellation of the sale, business is picking up. I hope former clients and garotos continue to return to Fragata.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
Any further updates on Fragata?



During my six-week absence from Brazil, my friends who occasionally visited Fragata offered favorable comments.


Tonight, I visited Fragata. The place was busy but not as busy as I have seen in the past. There were about 30 gatotos and about 30 clients.


Many of the garotos are the same garotos that formerly visited Lagoa a few years ago. Lagoa generally has younger and better looking garotos than does Fragata. When Lagoa garotos begin to loose their looks, they snag fewer clients and eventually they switch over to Fragata. Not all Fragata garaotos are former Lagoa garotos, but many are.


Although Sunday and Tuesday nights are usually the best nights at Fragata, tonight was not a good night. In fact, going there was a waste of time, money and effort.


I stayed at Fragata about two and one-half hours hoping that some reasonably young and attractive garatos would arrive. Alas, only the usual tired and worn out garotos showed.


The weather in Sao Paulo over the past couple of days was bad (thunderstorms) plus the temperature was ninety degrees today and Fragata does not have air conditioning. The storm and heat may have contributed to the dismal atmosphere at Fragata.


Tuesday will be my next visit unless another storm or heatwave hits the city.


If I were assigning grades to my experience tonight, I would give Fragata a grade of "D" -


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