Giving new meaning to the question Would you like whipped cream on that?

Seattle is well known as the first city of coffee. Starbucks and Seattle’s Best both got their start there. The city consistently ranks first in the U.S. for coffee consumption. Now Seattle might again break new ground as the first municipality to outlaw bikini baristas.

Competition is fierce in Seattle with thousands of coffeehouses, carts, kiosks, and drive-throughs vying for a share of the local caffeine dollars. A few years ago a local entrepreneur latched onto a plan to stand out from the crowd with scantily-clad baristas pulling the espresso shots. Similar coffee shops began popping up throughout the Pacific northwest– with names like  Brewlesque, Twin Perks, and Java Juggs– all hiring attractive young women to serve up steamy coffee drinks.

As competition heated up between these coffee establishments, the bikini baristas upped the ante to keep the big tips coming. Bikinis begat G-strings and pasties. Some cafe workers catered to special requests for extra hot or hold the foam. Five baristas were busted for prostitution.

Seattle and neighboring cities are seeking to regulate the coffee houses under adult entertainment ordinances. This would mean zoning restrictions and minimum age requirements. Baristas would be required to cover up if they are visible in a drive-through or storefront.

Could this spell the end for bikini baristas? Or the start of a First Amendment defense?

I’m just here for the cappuchino!

Sure you are…that’s why lists 117 locations where you can get your, uh, caffeine fix.

Cowgirls Espresso is offering franchise opportunities. Get a good look at the business plan with more than 5 minutes of cowgirl footage on their website.


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  10. Alexa says:

    How funny that you are posting about that! It has indeed been a big fuss here for a while. There was a new drive-thru coffee bar like that just outside of Seattle in the city of Bellevue. The residents were up in arms about how inappropriate the whole thing was and what a bad example for our children. The place was doing great business but they got attacked on technicalities and finally shut their doors. The arguments going back and forth between the folks against it and the ones in favor were very entertaining–especially with a good cup of coffee.
    By the way, I would love that cocoa nib cookie recipe–if you’re willing to share. It would go great with my Seattle coffee. 🙂

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