Bikini Brewhaha

Portland Tribune

Created on Friday, 02 August 2013 07:39 | Written by Victoria Hart

Coffee stand sparks debate over sex, religion and conflicting facets of feminism

It was hard to tell who the drivers were honking at — the young women in bikinis or the ones holding protest signs and a baby.

Both groups were standing on the corner of 19th Avenue and Elm Street Thursday, July 25, waving at cars and trying to get a message across with their handwritten signs.

barista-window-08-m“Not Welcome” and “Family Friendly Business?” read two of them.

“Bikini Coffee” and “Bikini Baristas Now Open,” read two others.

The community coffee clash was sparked by the soft opening of Forest Grove’s newest business, Dream Girl Espresso, in the Plaid Pantry parking lot.

DG LLC sells hot and cold drinks with a smile and a side of sexy. In March, it opened its first coffee kiosk in Hillsboro, in a bar parking lot off the main highway, without a peep from the community.

But its second location — on one of Forest Grove’s two main streets, near a residential neighborhood — has drawn more attention than co-owner Leah Sizemore anticipated.

That may be because the baristas’ garb is already changing — from the two-piece bikinis they wore last Thursday, to the stick-on nipple coverings and see-through lace underwear 19-year-old Tori Walker greeted customers with Tuesday. Opponents say the issue is about far more — or, in clothing terms, less—than bikinis.

That complexity shows up in the flood of online comments about the stand, ranging from Bible verses to opposite takes on feminism: Does the stand exploit women’s sexuality or celebrate their autonomy? To some it’s just an attention-grabbing gimmick, while others contend a bikini is no different on a barista than a beach-goer. Whether they came to the stand by car, foot or Facebook, Forest Grove residents have had bikinis on the mind since last Thursday.

Full article here: Bikini Brewhaha