Bottoms Up Espresso is planning to open up a new location in Chico, Calif., but the idea appears to have residents hot and bothered — and not in the way the owners likely intended.
The “bikini coffee shop” chain, which already operates six locations in California with female baristas who wear little more than lingerie or swimwear, is drawing criticism from Chico residents, who have already raised concerns with the city manager, the Chico Enterprise-Record is reporting.
“There’s nothing we can do. It hasn’t opened,” said City Manager Mark Orme, who told the Enterprise-Record that he’s already gotten numerous phone and email complaints about the business.
Another critic of the new Bottoms Up Espresso location concerns that the coffee shop will be opening just down the block from her dance studio, which is “full of impressionable children.”
“The concern is that Hype Dance has 300-plus students coming in and out weekly and their exposure to the business is out of the kids’ control. This is their home, where they feel safe and comfortable,” said Sarah Schneeweis, the owner of Hype Dance.
Schneeweis also told Action News Now that she doesn’t want her students exposed to the baristas’ attire.
"My first gut reaction is, 'I don't want our kids to have to be exposed to that,’” she told the outlet. “The inappropriate attire of the baristas working at this establishment does not align with what we're trying to teach our kids at this studio.”
The founders of the coffee chain, meanwhile, argue that their baristas aren’t wearing anything Californians wouldn’t see on a beach.
"We are a very classy business and pride ourselves on customer service and quality drinks. We have dress codes that expose less then you would see at a pool or beach," Bottoms Up Espresso CEO Nate Wilson tells Fox News.
“We’re trying to keep it classy, not trashy,” Wilson added to the Enterprise-Record. “There are no G-strings. We have a handbook and employee policies. Those policies help keep employees presentable.”
Schneeweis also took issue with the shop’s menu itself, which features drinks with names such as “Sweet Cheeks” and “The Big O.”
“What if there’s a little girl seeing that and asks what that is?” she said.
As for now, Orme says the business has only obtained a license to operate, and as long as it conforms to the use of the property — the building’s previous occupants ran a coffee business, too — there’s nothing that can be done.
That said, the mayor of Chico is making it known that many residents aren’t fans of the project.
“It’s unfortunate someone would come from out of town and put a business like this on one of our busiest intersections,” said Chico Mayor Sean Morgan in an email to the Enterprise-Record.
“Because the business doesn’t violate any City Code — they make money selling coffee — there isn’t anything ‘immediate’ that government can do. I can’t imagine the people of Chico will support such a concept, especially in that location. I expect the business to flame out and do so quickly as Chico already has a number of very successful, tasteful, well-run coffee houses.”
Wilson co-founded the first Bottoms Up Espresso location in Modesto, Calif., in 2011. Wilson tells Fox News there are 12 other locations under development in the Sacremento area, along with more in Arizona.