20 February 2010

Does Clampdown = the End for Bikini Baristas?

NY Daily News

The coffee is smoking hot in Seattle, but so are the waitresses.

The city gave us bikini baristas a few years ago by combining delicious hot coffee with scantily-clad waitresses. But now it seems the sexpresso craze could be coming to an end.

Five bikini baristas in the area of Everett, Wash., are accused of charging customers up to $80 for a little something extra on the side of their java.

The baristas allegedly fondled, flashed and took photos for some extra cash at the drive-thru window, sometimes in the view of passing traffic.

Authorities say the baristas will face prostitution charges in court next month.

Neighboring cities have started to crack down on the fad as well.

Last month Snohomish County began requiring all coffee-stand employees to wear at least a bikini, while the city of Lynnwood requires their baristas to wear more than pasties and a G-string.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Yakima city council is proposing similar rules, attempting to regulate their sexpresso stands as adult entertainment.

Burdening these establishments with the adult entertainment designation can lead to new zoning regulations and age minimums for customers.

Could this spell the end for bikini baristas?

"You have a bunch of church groups that got together and decided they just don't like women in bikinis," said Bill Wheeler, who runs four Grab-N-Go espresso stands.

"And in response a lot of these cities have decided to trample on First Amendment rights. It's sad because people are allowing it to happen."

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