EVERETT, Wash. - Hours after Everett police detectives raided “Hillbilly Hotties” and arrested three of its bikini baristas, one barista who was not arrested expressed strong opinions about the arrests.
“We’re being targeted, because police here want to shut down every bikini espresso stand in Everett,” said the barista, who asked KIRO 7 not to use her name.
“We’re just like every other regular coffee stand, really,” she said. “It's just that we're--a little less dressed!”
Everett police tell KIRO 7 they were responding to citizen complaints. “It’s a quality of life issue in the community,” said Officer Aaron Snell. "We conducted a thorough and proper investigation.”
Snell said undercover detectives posed as customers, to see if the baristas were selling more than coffee and conversation. He says two of them, ages 20 and 21, were arrested for violating the city’s cabaret ordinance. KIRO 7 looked-up the ordinance, which reads in part:
“Any exhibition, performance or dance which is intended to sexually stimulate any member of the public and which is conducted on a regular basis or as a substantial part of the activity.”
"The cut and dried version is women showing body parts,” said Snell. “They were performing not sex itself, but just performing actions and activities which are unacceptable within the community."
One barista, age 33, was charged with violating the city’s lewd conduct ordinance. The stand’s windows are all covered, except for the barista’s drive-up window, which is only typically visible to a customer, or the dry cleaning business 60 feet away. “I never noticed anything like that,” said an unidentified worker in the business.
The owner of a family-oriented espresso stand across the street from Hillbilly Hotties told KIRO 7 he had suspicions about the bikini stand.
“We've seen customers will be there 15, 20 minutes at a time, and we've had one of our girls propositioned by one of their customers,” said Henry Nitardy, “It's kind of a different business.”
Hillbilly Hotties’ Facebook page shows dozens of pictures of the women who work there, all posing in bikinis and lingerie inside the stand.
The bikini barista who asked to be nameless told KIRO 7, the stand’s female owner sends frequent emails to her employees, urging them not to give customers any more than coffee and a smile, no matter how much cash they offer.
“She sends it out weekly. It says ‘Keep your clothes on!’ ‘Keep your clothes on and you won’t have any problems!"
The same stand was featured in headlines less than a month ago, when a 12-year-old boy was arrested for robbing the baristas at gunpoint. The boy was arrested and charged with several armed robberies, along with a 16-year-old friend.