Edmonds bikini barista owner says new ordinance targets only his business

By: Joanna Small

Updated:

EDMONDS, Wash. - One North Sound business owner says the city of Edmonds is trying to drive him out of town.  Tuesday night Edmonds is considering new regulations specifically for bikini barista coffee stands—and there’s just one in the entire city.

Just off Highway 99—next to a bus stop and other businesses—a woman is making coffee in front of an open window wearing a unitard that leaves very little to the imagination; so little that we can’t show you on TV but you can walk by, and the Edmonds Police Department says that’s the problem.

After years of complaints about the attire and behavior of the women who work at bikini barista stands:  “We took our current language regarding indecency and adult entertainment, and that language is pretty antiquated, so we wrote new language that allows us to clearly define what is expected of business owners and business employees,” explained Edmonds police Sgt. Josh McClure.

The new indecency ordinance prohibits—in part — a “state of nudity in a public place” and “appealing to a prurient interest in sex.”  We showed the entire document to Alan Tagle.

“If it passes it’s just the city trying to keep a bikini barista company out of their city limits,” Tagle told us—HIS barista company.  He owns Beehive Espresso, the only bikini barista stand in town.

 “I just felt it was a little targeted being that we’re the only coffee shop of this type,” explained Tagle.

He has three other Beehive Espressos—in Bothell, Lynnwood and Seattle.  The business’s Instagram account has nearly 100,000 followers and the pictures from inside the stands are racy.  Tagle says he tells police to stop by and determine if they’re too racy.

 “If ever they felt what they’re wearing is not enough they will call me and they will tell me, and I really think that is the best way to deal with it because then I can deal with it internally before it becomes a big issue,” said Tagle.  After eight years of operation in Edmonds he says he thought that was working.

There have never been any charges against anyone associated with Beehive Espresso.  A few years ago another bikini barista company operating in Edmonds and other North Sound cities was raided and the owner was eventually convicted of conspiracy to promote prostitution.

Next Up: