‘Bikini Barista’ Coffee Shop Shut Down

Would you like a side of controversy with your Macchiato?

‘Bikini Barista’ Coffee Shop Shut Down

Even at the best of times, interacting with your barista can be awkward. Especially once they learn your name. One false move and you go from talking about your extra hot skinny cap to “what you did on the weekend”—a conversation punctuated by uncomfortable silences, in which you struggle to call what it was exactly you did with your life ate for breakfast on Sunday.

Unfortunately for socially incompetent humans everywhere, the coffee chain ‘Bottoms Up Espresso’ are currently branching out all over America, in an attempt to make this morning java experience even more fraught, by requiring their servers to wear bikinis.

Fortunately for socially incompetent humans everywhere (or at least, those who reside in California), authorities have just set a precedent, shutting one of the chain’s Bay Area stores down for operating like an adult business.

According to News.com: “At a meeting on Tuesday, city council members in American Canyon voted unanimously to revoke a licence granted to Bottoms Up Espresso after critics argued the ‘bikini barista’ coffee shop was operating more like an adult business than a cafe.”

Opening in December, the store quickly sparked controversy both with its revealing Instagram posts and its servers’ skimpy outfits along with their cups of coffee.

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According to Fox News, although officials received complaints following the store’s opening (leading to the following conversation), the store was originally given the all clear.

“I met with one of the owners on January 4, 2019 who informed me that he intends to require the employees at the American Canyon store to wear costumes that are as revealing as the costumes worn on staff at other Bottoms Up Espresso stores,” community director Brent Cooper allegedly said.

“The business owner provided a ‘dress code.’ The costumes in the ‘dress code’ are revealing to a degree that the business meets the definition of an adult business per the city’s Municipal Code.”

Seeing as the city’s municipal code only requires workers to cover specific “anatomical areas” of the body (the private parts, buttocks, and breasts) in order to avoid classification as an adult-entertainment establishment, the store was judged to be on solid legal ground when it opened.

However, the public backlash soon prompted authorities to reconsider. One Instagram comment, for example, read: “I would be absolutely heartbroken if my daughter was serving people at a job in clothes like that. You know the girls are being looked at like pieces of meat, and so young.”

“21,000 calls come in a day in America from domestic abuse hotlines; primarily women. Those are the ones who call. Society thinks it ok to make women objects and to devalue them. Men need to get it together.”

Others came to the Bottom Ups’s defence, arguing, “Yes, but serving food and drink while in a bikini does not mean they’re being abused. That’s a false implication you’re making. Some girls like to feel sexy and show it off and that’s their business. No one is forcing anybody to work there and wear what they don’t want to wear.”

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Despite the odd comment in their favour, Bottoms Up clearly doesn’t believe it has enough local support to make the expensive legal battle required to continue operating in this area worth it, and have decided to close their doors.

But that didn’t stop the franchise’s owner, Nate Wilson, throwing out a few jabs as he retreated, telling Fox News the council has gone “beyond the law” with its ruling.

“We have decided to move on from that location due to the fact the city will waste a bunch of taxpayers’ money to fight us in court, where if we wanted to make a point would win.”

“We do not fall into ‘adult entertainment’ as they suggest,” he added. “The licence was revoked before we even opened or went to any appeals. The city is acting beyond their powers and shows you how even small government abuses their powers,” (News.com).

Mr Wilson has also, as reported by News.com, previously argued something to similar effect, when opening another branch in Chico, which came under fire due to its proximity to a dance school.

“We are a very classy business and pride ourselves on customer service and quality drinks. We have dress codes that expose less than you would see at a pool or beach.”

The fact that the aforementioned Chico store is still up and running and considering Bottom Up have plans to open numerous more outlets in the Sacramento area (and Arizona), it seems the “Bikini Barista” saga is far from over.

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