Bill Wheeler of Grab 'N' Go Espresso hit on a winning formula for competing against Starbucks: make the baristas as stimulating as the coffee!
Espresso drive-through stands with bikini- and lingerie-sporting baristas are popping up from Monroe to Edmonds. In the past year, at least six of these java joints employing provocatively dressed young women have opened in the county.
A few owners of these roadside stands say business is so brisk, they're hiring more employees and have plans to open new locations. "I brought a touch of Vegas back to Washington," said Bill Wheeler, who opened Grab 'N' Go Espresso on Highway 99 just south of Everett last year.
Wheeler says he aims to soon operate a dozen stands in Washington and Nevada, including one with male baristas in tight Speedos and bowties. Sometimes wearing little more than pasties and bikini bottoms, the scantily clad baristas at Wheeler's stands have scores of well-tipping customers.
Other businesses in the area aren't so thrilled at the "sexpresso" stand:
Some stands are trying to cash in on the backlash. They are displaying family-friendly signs and other messages including "We Make it Hot with our Tops On," "R-rated Coffee; PG-rated Girls" and "Known 4 Coffee Not Cleavage!"
And there's plenty of trash talking across the coffee divide. Sara Barnfather, 22, a barista with Stars and Stripes Espresso in Everett, said she's "proud to be classy, not trashy."
"If you like nipples and third-degree burns, go for it," she said. "But it's not my cup of tea."
David Chircop of Hearld Net did the uh, media coverage: Link - via