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Bikini Baristas
** EDITORS NOTE CONTENT ** A barista at a Grab-N-Go Bikini Hut espresso stand holds money as she waves to a customer, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010, just outside the city limits of Everett, Wash., in Snohomish County. Coffee shops in the Seattle area introduced the world to "bikini baristas" three years ago, but now Snohomish County and other areas are tightening their rules for the stands, such as requiring employees to wear at least the equivalent of a bikini or face regulation under adult entertainment ordinances. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

A city in Washington state is weighing a crackdown on bikini barista coffee stands


The City of Everett has presented two proposals to crack down on controversial bikini coffee stands, according to our affiliate KOMO.

Investigators said bikini stands are risky business, breeding prostitution, rape and drugs.

“The problem is this business model is just fertile ground for this. It’s ripe for the exploitation,” City of Everett Attorney Ramsey Ramerman said. “Any problem you’d have with a strip club we’re having with these stands. It doesn’t mean every owner is running them like a strip club but the potential is there but the money is there.”

One of the proposals that the city is considering would make it a crime for coffee stand owners to "facilitate lewd conduct" and would not allow imitate body parts<b> </b>to be exposed, even if the barista is wearing body paint or sheer clothing. The punishment would be up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Another ordinance would require a dress code for what the city calls "quick service restaurants,” including barista stands. Workers would have to at least wear tank tops and shorts.

For Hillbilly Hotties barista Elise Ficalora, it's about making coffee and making a living. She said her bikini coffee stand prides itself on doing the right thing.

No peep shows are allowed and no one can get out of their car.

"Me and the people I work with don't do those illegal activities," Ficalora says. "So what we do, it's about the coffee and it's about the friendliness. I can understand the issue, but I don’t think we should be put out of business over people breaking the law.”

Community members attended a reading for the ordinance Wednesday night. The reading is slated to be the first of many discussions on the topic, officials say.

The public hearing for the ordinances is scheduled in August 16.

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