EVERETT — Illegal activity at some bikini barista coffee stands is not a new problem.
Along with busting places like this, local municipalities have approached this problem with new laws and new ordinances that limit where these businesses can locate and what behavior is legal, but with so much money at stake, investigators say, still, there are those willing to risk getting caught.
Young women from Marysville to Maple Valley doing what most would consider the unthinkable, alleged lewd sex acts, even prostitution inside an espresso stand, even as families and children pass right by.
“I’m all for free enterprise but it’s not something that I would incorporate the two together. I just think I want to get coffee when I want to get coffee and let other people go to those places,” neighbor Paul Franklin said.
In spite of best efforts to clean it up businesses like this keep popping up.
In fact neighbors say a little more than an hour after this Java Juggs in Everett was raided, the open sign was back on.
“Nobody likes to see that kind of business. It’s family friendly up here, down there it’s not,” Broadway Coffee barista Jennifer Darling said.
Darling works right up the street at Broadway Coffee.
They’ve been doing business the right way at the same location for more than a decade.
She says illegal espresso stands are bad for business and for society.
“I think they’re giving kids, young ladies the easy way out. To make money it requires hard work and going to school and get better grades, get good jobs versus taking their clothes off if just not the right way to do it, not the right message to send,” Darling said.
Joe Fisk gets his cup of joe at Broadway Coffee five times a day.
He supports local government intervention to clean things up and say he refuses to spend his money where the law is being broken.
“I don’t agree with it. They need to shut them all down. That’s not good for the neighborhood, not good for the people or anything,” customer Joe Fisk said.
Now the baristas involved were detained but not arrested and charges are being referred to the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.