CLOVIS, Calif. (AP) - Bikini-clad baristas who work at a Northern California coffee shop are brewing up a bit of controversy with some folks upset with their attire.
Residents in Clovis are collecting signatures for a petition telling City Council members that they want the servers at the Bottom's Up to either cover up or close up shop permanently, the Fresno Bee reported (http://bit.ly/1oH8lY9 ).
Candice Eslick, 50, who lives a block from the shop that began operating in January, said the attire choices of servers are not right for her neighborhood or the city. She hopes to deliver a petition to the City Council on April 21.
Meanwhile, Clovis City Attorney David Wolfe said the city probably can't do anything about the business. Wolfe said residents called the city after a TV story on the shop last month featured a barista apparently showing too much skin when she bent over.
He said the TV report revealed too much.
"We don't usually address that in our city code except in adult businesses. All your private parts have to be fully covered or it's an adult business and you have to go somewhere else," said Wolfe, adding that city officials have visited the shop and the business has followed the rules.
Bottom's Up co-owner Alexandra Ireland says she was just as surprised to see that on TV and the barista has since been let go. Ireland said the shop has rules about proper attire.
"It does not allow them to wear anything that they could not wear to a public beach," Ireland said.
Scantily-clad baristas are not a new phenomenon. Last year, city leaders in Spokane, Wash., decided that some mostly-bare attire worn by staff at a coffee shop didn't qualify it as an adult entertainment establishment.
The Council cited vague language in an existing ordinance defining appropriate attire. The decision was considered a win for the shop, which caused a local stir with its bikini uniforms and servers going topless on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
A proposed ordinance on the matter could be decided by voters in November. Similar debates have occurred in cities in Southern California and Oregon.
In Clovis, Ireland opened the store three months ago as part of a franchise that started in Modesto and has since expanded. The concept started in Washington state, where Ireland worked four years as a bikini barista. She refined the business plan and brought it to the Central Valley three years ago. Ireland says she wants to add even more stores.
Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com