When it comes to coffee, Hillsboro is not Forest Grove
What works for one community doesnt necessarily mean its appropriate for a neighboring community. That is what the owners of Hillsboro-based Dream Girl Espresso (its known as Bikini Coffee at its Hillsboro location) are learning as they deal with a small hornets nest of protest following the July 25 opening of their second coffee kiosk, this one in Forest Grove.
It may not seem that a coffee shop would create controversy, but Dream Girl Espresso is not your typical purveyor of coffee.
In general, we like to see new businesses opening around the area because its a sign of healthy economic growth. But we do not believe Dream Girl in its current format, at least is a good fit for the Forest Grove community.
The hook with this particular coffee house is not necessarily the coffee, but the fact that customers are served by women who are close to naked. Were not talking about women wearing bikinis here, because bikinis would not be that unusual. But some of the servers have been seen wearing pasties and see-through panties something youd expect to see in a strip club, perhaps, in a sleazy section of Portland or Seattle, but not at a drive-through coffee shop on the edge of a quiet neighborhood in Forest Grove. And thats where this business crosses the line.
In Forest Grove, Dream Girl is in a highly visible public location in a Plaid Pantry parking lot along 19th Avenue. The Hillsboro version is off TV Highway, but its set back from the road in a parking lot that is not readily accessible and much less visible. As far as we know, there have been no protests surrounding Hillsboros Bikini Coffee, given its relatively obscure location, the fact that its far from residential areas, and is not right next to a public sidewalk and kids going by on their bicycles do not see the employees.
A number of family-minded individuals in Forest Grove have taken exception to seeing baristas in pasties and panties at the new business, and are asking the Forest Grove City Council to pull the plug. Those who object contend the business license was issued on deceptive grounds, because the business characterizes itself as a bikini barista even though at times the servers have obviously been wearing much less than bikinis.
Further, a help wanted ad posted on Craigslist specifies dancing experience would be a plus in getting a job serving coffee at Dream Girl. Maybe were a bit naive, but what does dancing have to do with serving coffee from a kiosk? For that matter, even the name of the business tells a lot: Its Dream Girl, not Dream Coffee. Indeed, all the signs seem to indicate that this business is much more about hot bodies than hot coffee.
A public parking lot visible to people of all ages is not an appropriate place for adult entertainment, and it appears that is largely what Dream Girl is selling.
If the Dream Girl baristas are going to continue to wear pasties and transparent undies in public, the city of Forest Grove may step in. Better yet, the owners will realize they have gone too far and understand that not every community is the same. In Forest Grove, they need to clean up their act, which would be in the best interests of all concerned.
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