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Community Not Thrilled With Coffee Shop Baristas

For ages, servers in bars, casinos and other adult venues have used their assets to draw in customers and increase their tips. No one batted much of an eye as playboy bunnies and topless servers brought drinks to grown men.

Next, it was family restaurants that began featuring large-breasted women in skin-tight, skimpy clothing in order to get attention and bigger tips. Hooters started the trend, and it has since exploded. The industry has even acquired a nickname: breastaurants.

Now, that trend is pushing out into coffee shops. And for some local communities, it's a little difficult to handle.

One tiny coffee house in Washington, named 'The Bare Beans', feature half-naked baristas serving you your daily cup of Joe. These ladies make Hooters and Wing House girls look modest by comparison. They don't even always wear tops-- sometimes they'll just put on colorful, fun-shaped nipple stickers and call it good. Sometimes they wear bras and G-strings.

The ladies who own the Spokane shop opted for the sexy attire to stand out among the numerous other coffee shops in the area. The hole-in-the-wall cafe is actually very profitable considering customers get a little peep show as they go through the drive-by window for their daily dose of caffeine.

Bikini Beans Espresso, a similar shop in Arizona, has also found a lot of success due to the dress code-- or lack thereof, as the case may be. “Coffees never been this hot,” reads the slogan. Customers don’t even seem to mind the grammatical error in it.

Carlie Jo, the owner, says she and her female employees find the business very empowering.

"As the first bikini barista shop in Arizona, we want to empower women to be, and feel good about, themselves," she writes on the company website. "Women everywhere have the right to vote, to be gay, to be successful community leaders and business owners, or even run for president! We have the right to work with grace, confidence and dignity, regardless if it's in a business suit, scrubs, or a bikini."

Mike Fagan, the local city councilor, tried to ban the 'uniforms' for, ironically, the opposite reason. He felt the sexy barista outfits promoted the exploitation of women instead of empowering them.

"It should be all about the coffee and not about the body," he said to Zagat in an interview. "Having frequented at least one time in each of these shops, just to see what the consumer is subjected to, we're talking about three stickers strategically placed - and I’ll leave it up to everybody else's imagination as to where those stickers are placed. I don't want to pound on the 'it's for the children' argument, but that is what it's all about."

It's not the first time a company has used sex to sell a product. Advertisers do it on television, in magazines and on billboards all the time. Breastaurants do it. Bars do it, so why not coffee shops?

In Spokane, a group of moms is working to have indecent exposure laws require the coffee shop girls get dressed. Kimberly Curry, the mom leading the charge, said she was simply driving down the street with her young children when one pointed to the coffee shop window and said there was a girl with no clothes on.

"You can't just avoid it. That sounds really nice in theory, but you can't just drive down other streets. These are on all the most major streets in Spokane," she said.

Source: AGG
Photos: YouTube

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