Owner defends bikini barista shop: 'We do not serve sex'

Credit: KGW Reporter Abbey Gibb

Owner defends bikini barista shop: 'We do not serve sex'

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on August 12, 2013 at 7:58 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 13 at 10:03 AM

FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Bikini barista coffee stands are popping up in several Oregon cities, but residents of Forest Grove have said they don’t want one in their town.

Dream Girl Espresso has been open for less than three weeks and the stand already has a couple dozen regular customers, manager Tori Walker said. But there are also neighbors stopping by to videotape what the baristas are wearing.

More than a hundred upset residents created a standing room only city council meeting Monday night, to push for the coffee shop's closure.  But the city attorney told them there was no legal basis to regulate the business or force its closure.

"We are not serving coffee nude and we are within our legal limits. We do not serve sex, we serve coffee," owner Leah Seizmore said during the packed meeting.

City attorney Paul Elsner also reiterated that no laws or ordinances have been broken.

"It is not unlawful, the city has no ability to regulate this business based on what their marketing message is," Elsner said.

Some residents voiced their concerns because Dream Girl Espresso is on a street with heavy traffic, and it’s across from a Plaid Pantry frequented by school children and their parents.

"There are times and places for adult businesses. This is the wrong place for it," one local resident commented during the meeting.

In response to the controversy, the dress code has changed. Some baristas were wearing only pasties, which are small stickers worn in place of a bra.  Walker said Monday morning her employees have been told that their tops must be at least the size of the baristas’ palms.

“So hopefully now we don’t get as much feedback about us being inappropriate,” Walker said. She added that employees will be wearing outfits you’d see at a pool or beach on a hot day.

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