There’s a story in the front section of today’s Wall Street Journal that seems perfectly suited to Hinderaker’s beat: “Towns Fret as ‘Bikini Baristas’ Draw Crowds.”
“Bikini” or “lingerie” coffee stands have caused a stir across the Northwest, a region already crowded with drive-through coffee outlets operated by mainstream companies such as Starbucks and Dutch Brothers. According to a consumer website that functions as a guide to kiosks, more than 130 such adult-themed businesses operate now in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Okay, so Hooters has new competition. Got to find a competitive advantage somewhere. “Seattle’s Best” takes on a whole new meaning here. Apparently the bodacious baristas are pushing the envelope of their First Amendment rights of “free expression”:
An affidavit for a search warrant filed last June with the Superior Court of Washington for Snohomish County describes instances of baristas allegedly asking undercover detectives if they “wanted a show” after a $20 bill was proffered for a $7 cup of coffee—apparently a signal customers had devised to solicit lewd behavior. The “show,” detectives wrote, was a quick exposure of body parts.
After Federal Bureau of Investigation agents installed surveillance equipment, Everett police say they witnessed explicit acts of prostitution. Detectives wrote they observed one 23-year-old barista leave to meet a motorist in a pickup truck that had just left the kiosk. When the barista exited from the truck, they said, “The driver gave [her] what appeared to be cash.”
Hold on a moment! Doesn’t the FBI have better things to do than bust coffee kiosks run by the Girls Gone Wild syndicate?