Three baristas suspected of serving up adult performances at two Grab-N-Go Bikini Hut coffee locations were arrested Wednesday afternoon by the Everett police.
“We received numerous phone calls alleging more than coffee was being served,” said Everett police spokesman Aaron Snell, after the department’s two-month investigation. “If you drove past sometimes, some said you could see the activity, and I think people were concerned about that.”
Video surveillance allegedly found that some of the coffee business’ customers at two locations, 2030 Broadway Ave. and 333 S.W. Everett Mall Way, paid for performances by the three women but nothing else. Those women include a 29-year-old from Seattle, a 21-year-old from Shoreline and a 16-year-old from Everett.
The business’ Facebook page isn’t shy about advertising its scantily clad employees. The caption for the photo of one woman only wearing underwear, a tie and pasties reads, “Come see Melina Monday – Friday from 4 A.M. – 1 P.M. at Everett Mall Way.”
A job opening posted in November says, “Grab-N-Go Bikini Hut is hiring beautiful woman with great personalities! Must have a car, phone, and open availability. Resume and photos are a must!”
The baristas were specifically violating Everett’s adult cabaret law by giving the performances without a license, Snell said. That law prohibits unlicensed adult-entertainment performances.
The coffee stands’ owner, Bill Wheeler, said the arrests threw him and his employees off-guard.
“I thought it was weird because I have surveillance cameras at my stands, and all [police] have to do is ask to look at it,” said Wheeler, who owns four coffee stands in the area. “If employees do anything out of question, I terminate them on the spot.”
Wheeler said the women were released after questioning Wednesday afternoon.
Snell said detectives are still investigating whether the business’ management was involved in promoting any performances.
The Everett Police Department has investigated the behavior of bikini baristas several times in the past. In 2009, prostitution charges were filed against several women. Another undercover investigation that year alleged several lewd acts were happening at the small stands, including a $20 “whip cream show” featuring a barista licking whipped cream off a co-worker’s groin and breast.