Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
THE FOLLOWING EDITION OF CULINARY NO-NO CONTAINS ADULT-RELATED MATERIAL. IF THIS SORT OF CONTENT GETS YOU ALL HUFFY AND PUFFY, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. PLEASE DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER.
We begin our weekly analysis of yet another food taboo in the normally quiet city of
From the land that launched Starbucks comes the enterpreneurial but more than likely illegal venture called Grab-n-Go Coffee Hut.
It's a tiny drive-up shack where you can buy coffee, a latte, espresso, etc.
Working the hut are young baristas wearing bikinis.
That's not the problem, at least from a legal standpoint.
There's a community uproar because the business takes its name quite literally. It really does provide Grab-n-Go service.
Complaints have been percolating for some time that there’s more brewing at Grab-n-Go than just coffee sales. At one location in the Grab-n-Go chain, the baristas reportedly have been engaging in all kinds of lewd behavior to make extra cash.
Local police investigated for two months (I bet they did) making numerous undercover purchases. According to the Everett Herald, here is what their operation, AHEM, uncovered:
"Investigators saw the women expose their crotches, lick whipped cream off their co-workers' private parts and pose naked for pictures inside the Grab-n-Go Espresso stand at 8015 Broadway, according to police reports obtained by The Herald.
Detectives also witnessed some of the women charging customers to touch their bare breasts and naked buttocks. Touching of that kind, for pay, falls under the city's definition of prostitution.
On a second visit, a detective was told he couldn't have a mocha because the stand was out of chocolate. He also was told he couldn't order a small drink because they only served 20-ounce beverages.
The barista told him that for $20, she and the other barista would give him a show. He paid and they bared their breasts and pulled down their undergarments, police reports said.
The detective noted that the stand is about 30 yards off the roadway and about 10 feet lower than the level of the road, making it easy to see into the business from the street. During the undercover operation, traffic was regularly stopped in front of the stand because of nearby construction, according to investigators.
Detectives say the women also charged customers to play 'basketball' — a game in which customers were allowed to throw waded up money at the women, who caught the money in their underpants.
Investigators also witnessed women strip down and perch on the drive-thru window ledge in full view of passing cars. The five women also allowed customers, who paid extra, to grab their breasts and buttocks, police allege."
All the exposure, and by that I mean news coverage resulted in the following, again, from the Everett Herald:
“Several men in trucks waited in line just after lunch for espresso and an eyeful of the baristas wearing bikinis — not the thongs and pasties they sported last week.”
Men in trucks in line, waiting to buy espresso? Before this story broke, show me a truck driver who can spell espresso or who has ever bought one in his life and I’ll vote Democrat in the next 3 presidential elections.
Now I suppose I could have written this week about whether or not it’s proper to pair a pinot grigio with rigatoni Bolognese or if you should ever order cheese on top of seafood in
As you might expect, the owner of Grab-n-Go says nothing is going on (or coming off). They’re not selling sex, they’re selling coffee.
Besides, don’t you understand? The women who work for him signed an agreement that they would behave properly while on the job.
Anyone caught in violation would be…….well, what do you think. What would any responsible business owner do if his female employees were engaged in a game of “basketball” where customers were allowed to throw wadded up money at the women, who caught the money in their underwear?
You fire them, right?
Not if you’re Grab-n-Go owner Bill Wheeler. You put those naughty gals on “administrative leave.”
There are many elements to this story, including what happens next. In this case, the issue goes this week to the local pols in Everett who must decide if, and yes it has come to this, coffee stands and baristas fall under the local ordinances regarding lewd behavior.
If they are the typical local government types that can’t shoot straight, they’ll hem and haw and worry and worry and worry until they’re sick about whether they’re taking the appropriate action from a legal standpoint rather than applying the common sense standard for the benefit of the community.
My prediction? Because it’s already been reported that the baristas, even under any changes being considered by the local intelligentsia would still be able to wear as little as possible as long as certain body parts are covered, the coffee shops will stay open, the baristas accused of prostitution will pay their fines and be removed from “administrative leave” if they’re even on it, and a whole new brand of customers will have been exposed (sorry) to the wonders of vanilla latte’s, and that would be those culture-conscious truck drivers.
And by the way, it's stories like this one that make me laugh. I automatically think of all the Victorian-thinking prudes (They generally resemble the Sea Hag in the old Popeye cartoons) who get their noses all bent out of shape about, oh my dear God, an establishment either operating or possibly opening up in their locale where the workers look like this:
Yeh, that’s really disgusting stuff right there.
(HERBIE, I'VE READ AND SEEN ENOUGH!!! GET ME THAT MARK MALEY'S PHONE NUMBER, PRONTO!!!)
Actually, that young lady’s place of work looks more like a nunnery compared to Grab-n-Go.
You see more on the beach or at a Disney hotel swimming pool than the gal in orange and white.
But it's so, so bad.
What's going on in Everett......now that's something to steam your beans.
Prostitution accusations untrue, bikini coffee stand's owner says
Five Everett bikini baristas charged with prostitution (Contains link to KOMO-TV news report)