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Naked Baristas Hit for Prostitution in Sexpresso Shop Sting

By Pete Kotz in Sex crimes
Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm


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A more modestly dressed barista. She probably just came from Sunday Mass.
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You have to admit it's a brilliant business concept. In the heated competition to peddle over-priced coffee, some inventive entrepreneurs in Washington state have come up with a novel idea: Add a heavy helping of T&A. Think of it as Hooters meets the neighborhood strip joint, only with a latte thrown in.

So begins today's tale from the Grab 'N' Go Bikini Hut in Everett, Washington. To get a leg up on competitors, it decided baristas should add a little spice to the menu. So they dressed only in panties and negligees, with a fondness for see-through fabric. And for the right price, you could make those garments magically fall off.

In a two-month sting on the Grab 'N' Go, police watched baristas jiggle their breasts, gyrate their buttocks, and traipse nearly nude in the parking lot. You could play basketball by throwing wadded cash into their panties. And for the proper tip, you could paw boobs and butts, or make underwear fall to the floor...

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Sexpresso shops have tried to beat nudity laws by covering up nipples, though this woman looks like she was taped by a hockey trainer
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Unfortunately, the touching part -- especially when traded for U.S. currency -- seems to violate Everett's prostitution laws. Five baristas ages 18-24 have been charged with hooking.

The Grab 'N' Go has faced problems before. It's part of a new trend in coffee known as the Sexpresso, which has become a budding phenomenon in the Seattle area. But it seems straighter residents don't fully appreciate the inventiveness of the concept.

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A barista from rival Cowgirls Espresso
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Nearby businesses have complained about naked baristas perched in the window to attract customers. They regularly walk near-naked to neighboring stores to get supplies. One store owner recently snapped a photo of a barista hauling milk across the parking lot. She'd somehow forgotten to wear her pants.

In the latest sting, cops caught baristas charging an extra $80 for making customers' mochas in the nude. They would also lick whipped cream off each other and pose naked for pictures with the admiring clientele.

Cities have tried to crack down before, so the shops responded by having the women place pasties over their breasts. But after the latest sting, it appears the fun has come to an end.

Bill Wheeler, owner of Grab 'N' Go, wants to open a dozen stores in Washington and Nevada. But after the prostitution bust, he plans to tame it down by having baristas wear bikinis and lingerie. "We got tired of people whining about it," he says with a sigh.

It seems some people just don't appreciate a pioneer of industry anymore.


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