Three scantily dressed baristas were arrested Wednesday at an espresso stand in Washington state after public complaints about inappropriate conduct, police said.
The three women, who sold coffee drinks at the drive-through Hillbilly Hotties stand along a busy road in Everett, north of Seattle, weren't identified.
Sept. 25, 2009: So-called bikini barista coffee stands are highly popular — and controversial — in Snohomish County, Wash. Rob Piercy of NBC station KING of Seattle reported on the 2009 arrests of five baristas on prostitution charges.
Everett police said that two of the women would be charged with violating the city's adult cabaret law: specifically, performing in public while either unclothed or while exposing their private parts. The third will be charged with lewd conduct, police said.
In a post on its Facebook page, the company said Wednesday that it remained open.
Police wouldn't discuss details of the alleged violations beyond saying they began an investigation after receiving complaints from the public about "illegal activities" at Hillbilly Hotties.
In a statement, police said they subsequently observed illegal activities at the stand, where saleswomen dress in almost non-existent swimwear — part of a growing "bikini barista" trend.
The phenomenon is especially popular in Washington, where several coffee stands boasting suggestive names and servers in bikinis — or less — have been busted in the last few years.
In 2009, five bikini baristas were charged with prostitution for allegedly charging customers $80 to touch their breasts and buttocks at a shop in Everett called the Grab-n-Go Bikini Hut. In July 2011, the owner and three employees were arrested for alleged indecent exposure at a coffee stand in the town of Edmonds called Java Juggs.
And in July of this year, a Snohomish County sheriff's sergeant resigned after he was arrested for allegedly abetting a prostitution ring at a stand called Java Juggs and Twin Peaks in Everett.
Other stands in the area boast names like Lady Latte, Chicka Latte, Candy Girls and Cowgirls.
Police confirmed that the stand that was raided Wednesday is the same Hillbilly Hotties that made news last month when a 12-year-old boy was arrested and charged with holding it up at gunpoint. Police said the boy pointed a gun at a barista Sept. 2, emptied the tip jar into his backpack and pedaled off on a bicycle.
He was charged with first-degree robbery.