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Coffee Shops with Bikini-Clad Staff Spark Controversy

Bikini Beans Espresso is a coffee shop chain with branches in Arizona and Washington where patrons can have their favorite coffee prepared and served by beautiful women wearing bikinis, g-strings or just three strategically-placed stickers.

Thanks to its attractive dress code, Bikini Beans Espresso has become hugely popular, especially among its male clientele. Apparently, a simple visit to one of these coffee shops has a way of brightening up a man’s day, and it’s definitely not just the coffee. But despite encouraging sales, impressive 5-star ratings on Yelp and thousands of followers on social media, Bikini Beans Espresso has its fare share of critics, most of which claim that the mandatory dress code of the staff is degrading for women.

That’s definitely not how the owners of Bikini Beans Espresso shops see it, though. They claim that the girl’s skimpy “uniforms” actually empower women, helping them feel comfortable in their own skin.


“We stand for so much more than a girl in a bikini,” Ben Lyles, who owns two shops in Arizona – in Phoenix and Tempe – told FOX News. “It’s empowering for our baristas to wear a bikini, feel comfortable in their own skin, embrace that, and have a choice to do something they enjoy and love.”


Carlie Jo, the owner of the Bikini Beans Espresso venue in Washington, also agrees that the barely-there attire is empowering women, not objectifying them. “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,” she said.


But while fans of Bikini Beans Espresso can’t stop praising the girls, critics argue that their “highly sexualized” activities become a serious issue when children are involved. Kimberly Curry, a mother of four from Spokane, Washington, says she was shocked when she saw the staff of Bikini Beans Espresso for the first time, when driving home from the local cinema with her children.


“The problem wasn’t as much what they saw, it was having to explain to my eight, seven and five-year-old kids why there are women without shirts on serving coffee and why there are men in line to get this coffee,” Curry said. “I’m all for people doing what they want to do. But I don’t want it imposed on my family.”


“They are visible from the streets, all on major streets, and the baristas hang out of the windows, and often come out to smoke, advertise or empty the trash in their pasties and g-strings,” the woman added. “One of them [coffee shops] used to advertise ‘free lollipops for kids who come’.”


Brittany Paterson, who works at a Bikini Beans Espresso in Washington, doesn’t deny that she and her colleagues often interact with children, but claims that families are not put off by their attire.

“I have full families that come in that love me. Whichever stand I’m at they bring their whole family. They bring their kids, you know, I’ve offered to babysit before, she said. “So it really doesn’t affect kids at all, I think they are just trying to find another thing to be offended by.”
Bikini Beans Espresso may seem bad to conservative, but it’s actually tame compared to other joints, like this topless coffee shop in Maine that closed down a few years ago.

Photos: Bikini Beans Espresso Tempe, Bikini Beans Espresso Washington/Facebook

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eZine Insider: Coffee Shops with Bikini-Clad Staff Spark Controversy
Coffee Shops with Bikini-Clad Staff Spark Controversy
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