California bikini-barista coffee shop branded 'disgusting' by locals

California bikini-barista coffee shop branded 'disgusting' by locals

A California coffee shop is drawing plenty of attention - as well as anger - from local residents, after dressing all of their baristas in skimpy bikinis.

Pink Pantherz Espresso has been the subject of intense criticism from locals after employing servers and dressing them in either bikinis or lingerie to serve customers, with people branding the coffee shop "disrespectful" and "disgusting" since its opening last week in Campbell in the San Francisco Bay Area.

"Right in between two elementary schools, a day care…? Just disgusting," wrote one irate woman on a community forum, and another wrote: "This isn’t the kind of things I want my sons seeing. And what are we saying to our daughters…"

Meanwhile, a woman who identified herself as a senior citizen living in the area simply said "they shouldn’t be here," while worrying about the type of customers such a store would bring to the area. Speaking to KPIX, another argued that the employee attire is "disrespectful to women".

"It’s just using women as an object; sexual object, in this case," said Campbell resident Maria Monti. But Pink Pantherz also has its advocates; Gary Coluccio says he's yet to try the coffee there, but he'd be open to it. "If you don’t want to see it, you don’t want to look, don’t come here," he says, and his wife agrees.

Mary Coluccio added: "I mean they’re not outside, nobody can see them unless you drive up," and Autumn Patellaro - who works nearby - added: "They’re women, we can wear whatever we want as long as we’re like following the law, I mean, if there was men with no shirts on I don’t think people would have a problem with it."

This type of controversy is nothing new for Pink Pantherz; they faced similar opposition while trying to move into Redwood City, and in response to that, have changed the names of some of their edgier drinks with drinks such as the "Bootycall", "Foreplay" and the "Pantydropper" all now with names far more family-friendly.

"Lately, I just laugh about it," says owner Jose Carmona, who owns all five of the Pink Pantherz locations. He respects people's right to an opinion, but maintains that most of his business comes from drive-thru customers, and as a result, thinks that concerns over preschoolers is somewhat odd.

In a statement, Sarah Perrin, the manager at the Campbell location of Pink Pantherz, confirms that the women employed at the coffee shop were perfectly aware of what they were getting into, saying they knew about the dress code before applying.

"All the girls that work here, they know what they’re signing up for. Go work in an office — there is somewhat of a dress code there too. Yes, I’m in a bikini serving a drink, but at the same time I’m not exposing myself anymore than a kid would see someone at a waterpark, or a lake, or going over to Santa Cruz."

Pink Pantherz will open in Campbell on March 1.