Monday, February 05, 2007

Sexpresso Bars get a standing ovation in Seattle

This news media doesn't have accessible archives so most of this article is posted below. I would add a photo but blogger isn't allowing me to do that now.

Have some scantily clad ladies with your coffee.
At the Sweet Spot Cafe in the northern suburbs of Seattle, you get more than a foam topping on your cappuccino. You get a waitress in a bikini, or maybe a tight-fitting T-shirt, and a choice of drinks with names such as Wet Dream (with caramel and white chocolate), Sexual Mix (a caramel macchiato) or Erotic Pleasure.

South of the city, in Tukwila, the baristas at Cowgirls Espresso wear sheer negligees and visible pink panties. It's the same story in any number of other suburban bars and drive-through stands, like the Natte Latte in Port Orchard or Moka Girls in Auburn - bikinis, racy lingerie, fetish clothing, and plenty of suggestively exposed flesh.

At Best Friend Espresso in Kenmore, at the northern end of Lake Washington, the outfits take their inspiration from Playboy-style sex fantasies. The staff will go for the naughty schoolgirl look one week, then don black-framed glasses the next to look like sexy secretaries.

Welcome to "sexpresso" - the latest coffee fad to hit America, in which the country's seemingly boundless fascination for Italian-style Java is combined with its equally boundless fascination for half-naked women.

Seattle may not be the first American city to come to mind when it comes to the pleasures of the flesh, but it is super-saturated with coffee stands, all of which are battling each other - and the mighty, locally based behemoth that is Starbucks - to give morning commuters an extra reason to stop off at their particular establishment.

Ms Araujo and others say it has given an unmistakable boost to their businesses. Their staff may only receive minimum wage, but the tips can be terrific.

"Our customers may be half-asleep when they get here, but we do what it takes to wake them up," said Ms Araujo. "They always say: 'Thanks for the great cup of coffee and the smile; it made my day'."

Some local puritans have expressed disquiet - and railed at The Seattle Times newspaper after it ran a feature on the sexpresso trend 10 days ago. But law enforcement officials say there is nothing illegal about wearing scanty clothing, so the trend is almost certain to keep spreading.
ADDED - This is an interesting marketing story.

Watching a news segment on this and reading these two articles and another I realized this was due to the incredible recent expansion of espresso bars in Seattle that was itself due to several factors. Coffee is very popular and has a high markup and reasonable set-up costs. It is also addictive, a 16-ounce Starbucks grande has nearly three times as much caffeine as a No-Doz. Mini-espresso bars opened up everywhere, especially after restaurants, bars and convenience stores recieved offers for another income stream, leasing part of their parking lots. Some blame this on an anti-tobacco ordinance being passed. With so many coffee places a means to attract customers and distinguish themselves from the others lead some to try titillation.

Considering the cool and damp weather in Seattle I think this will quickly spread South to warmer climes where bikinis and lingerie can be worn comfortably more of the time. Someone will franchise these mini-espresso drive-throughs that just need part of a parking lot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello! ;)
wow... what sick newz!
what do you consider about it?