By David Anderson
Should the Oakbrook area Black Star Coffee stand become a bikini barista hangout/drive-by/dispensary . . . for coffee and other things they sell, Lakewood would slide into fourth place state-wide in the “Ordering-Espresso-Can-Be-Fun!
Even though two “Grab-n-Go” Everett locations had arrests for two much show, not enough go, still it’s revealing that Everett remains at the top – less conspicuous in size than 2nd place Seattle, the two neighboring cities boasting 13 and 9 coffee stands along their respective strips.
Air Way Heights finishes at the bikini-bottom with only one night stand for coffee but it certainly has aspirations given the “Sin City Espresso” name, complete with a Vegas, Nevada banner on its website and pictures of what they offer.
Six bikini coffee stands for Lakewood will mean this itzy-bitsy-teenie-weenie city won’t be any longer as it will now boast the title ‘first in thirst’ for the entire State of Washington with the most scantily-clad coffee pourers per populace.
Not too shabby for a city hoping to expose itself to the country what with a video — that might now have to be re-edited to include these Points of Interest — the Lakewood Chamber produced a while back featuring our local gambling and casino watering holes.
Though a barista in a string-bikini rankles some, what with Lakewood ranking Number One, CBS News might want to pay a return visit to Washington to run a follow-up story on our state’s incidents of indecency and prostitution that always seems to stir the controversy — not to mention the coffee — with the establishment of such establishments.
Featuring our city’s new notoriety, we’d have all the free publicity we could most certainly use in this watered-down economy.
At first glance, or blush, it’s remarkable how serving coffee in such a small shanty — a drive-through at that — can cause such a brew-haha until, upon further inspection, you realize maybe it’s not about what’s in the cup.
Take Cowgirls Espresso for example (yes, Lakewood has one of those too), judged “Sexiest Coffee Shop” in America by Maxim Magazine. Just this past April 15 the cowgirls attended the Fort Lewis Sponsors Dinner where they helped serve. Food.
Just ogle on Google the number of times crime is connected with certain kinds of coffee.
So what can be done, other than saving room for scream?
Last month, the City Commission in Shelton enacted a six-month moratorium on applications for new sexually oriented businesses (SOB’s – Lakewood’s own abbreviation). Imagine including “drive-through coffee stands featuring scantily clad employees” in the SOB category. But they are. In Shelton.
Another option might be to apply the three-prong standard or Miller Test which would, to my way of thinking, read as follows, with only minor editing (parenthesis) on my part:
One: whether the average person (I think I qualify), applying contemporary community standards (see, community does matter), would find the service, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest – “having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters.”
Well, it sure as heck ain’t the coffee the purveyors themselves are promoting.
Two: “whether the work depicts or describes in a patently offensive way -“considered to be openly, plainly, or clearly visible as offensive to the viewing public” – sexual conduct . . . (I deleted the rest of this definition since this is a family newspaper but certainly some of the links provided in this article should give you an idea).
Three: “whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.”
That’s certainly not Rembrandt’s in the window. Being a drive-through there’s no time to be reading literary works. It’s doubtful those in the bikinis are gonna get elected looking like that – right?
And scientific value? Have you tasted that coffee?
Much ado about nothing
If the economy get better this will disappear.
What you should worry about is if JBLM get back to full strenth is when the strip Clubs come back and who will get the bribes.. oops I mean the Tax money
What gives anyone the right to legislate their version of morality? Why should everyone be forced to live by the same standards? Just because some people do not appreciate or approve of some thing, does that mean everyone should be denied the privilege? I do not drink coffee so I have never visited a barista stand (bikini or otherwise). Does this mean that I have the right to say that all barista stands should be put out of business? I think not and am quite certain that most coffee drinkers would agree. Mr. Anderson makes a point of saying that 2 stands in Everett have had arrests, but he only mentions the remaining 11 stands in that city in passing. Why must we always focus on the negative rather than accentuate the positive?
There is a simple concept that has been successful for many years in situations such as this. If you do not like what is being offered at an establishment, do not go there, but do not deny others the right to go if they choose.
David Anderson says
In writing this article, as one person I am most certainly not in the position to legislate a particular version of morality on “everyone,” nor am I “forcing (anyone) to live by the same standards,” much less suggesting anyone be “put out of business.” However, there are those who are charged with related responsibilities – your elected representatives as the following shows.
Lakewood Ordinance #358 (November, 2004) consisted of 22 pages that included references to statistics nation-wide concerning the harmful secondary effects of Sexually Oriented Businesses (SOB’s – Lakewood’s own designation) upon communities; findings of a variety of stakeholders including “representatives from businesses, educational institutions, community leaders, and representatives from the adult entertainment industry;” research and study by the Planning Advisory Board citing case law and neighboring city’s ordinances affecting adult entertainment facilities; and the resulting action, based on this research, found that “an improperly operated SOB can constitute a public or moral nuisance.”
This research was conducted in keeping with Lakewood’s purpose “to protect, foster and support the goals and ideals of schools, religious and public service organizations serving the Lakewood community.”
Given this coming Friday, May 17th, is Lakewood City Council Candidate filing deadline, I would suggest that your prospective representatives be asked to provide their position on bikini barista businesses and other sexually-oriented establishments within the city even as the City of Shelton has recently and the City of Lakewood has previously.