Local News

July 14, 2009

Bikini-themed coffee shop opens in Chatsworth

CHATSWORTH — Even though it serves coffee and cold drinks to go by women in bikini tops, the owner says the Bikini Beani Coffee and Drink Hut was “covered up” last weekend.

“You couldn’t have gotten another car in the parking lot on Saturday,” said Josh McClain, who opened the business at 917 N. Third Ave. “We didn’t have time to breathe.”

Iced coffee and “bikini sodas” may have accounted for some of the trade, but the bikini car wash with the help of the bikini “baristas” — properly defined as coffee shop employees — probably didn’t hurt either. This Saturday, Bikini Beani will host a classic car cruise-in from 5 to 9 p.m. No applications are required and car owners participating in the cruise-in receive half-off drinks.

McClain, a 2000 graduate of Murray County High School, realizes his business may be out of the mainstream for a conservative, Bible Belt town in the South.

“People may think it’s edgy and risqué, but nothing’s going on here that shouldn’t be,” he said. “We’re not breaking any laws, and we’re in compliance with all the city ordinances. I checked it out. It’s a niche business, (and) this is actually real, real big out west. It’s the only niche competing with Starbucks and the other chains around the Seattle area.”

Mayor Tyson Haynes said the city’s latest addition to a chain of eateries on North Third is “in compliance” with all city codes and permitting.

“Unless they do something besides what their license says — and that is to serve coffee to go — there’s nothing he’s in violation of,” Haynes said. “Bikinis may not be to some people’s liking, but he’s not in violation of any public indecency statute.”

But Haynes said police officers and city authorities will be “keeping an eye on” the enterprise.

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