According to a piece in The Seattle Times, the “sex sells” idea is running rampant through the suburban Seattle coffee trade, where you might get confused if you went to buy caffeine or a new push-up bra.

Taking a page from Hooters’ sound business plan, Seattle-area coffee pushers are putting the “ta-tas” in baristas by embracing a very un-Peets-ian uniform.

At Port Orchard’s Natté Latté, baristas sport hot-pink hot pants and tight white tank tops. Day-of-the-week theme outfits ranging from racy lingerie to ‘fetish’ ensembles are the dress code at Moka Girls Espresso in Auburn and at several Cowgirls Espresso stands in the area. Bikini tops are the special at Café Lorraine on Highway 9 in Woodinville, and the women of the Sweet Spot in Shoreline pose provocatively in Playmate-style profiles on the stand’s Web site.

‘In this area, we all know how to make good coffee,’ said Barbara Record, who opened Bikini Espresso in Renton last month. The trick is to set your business apart, she said, and sex is one surefire way to do that.

My first thought is, why is the Victoria’s Secret coffee shop dressing just for men? What about some Chippendale-esque dancer (more along the lines of Patrick Swayze, not Chris Farley) playfully asking if I want cream or a stir stick?

At Best Friend Espresso in Kenmore, baristas go thigh-high. An elevated service window offers customers a nearly full-length view of pretty, young baristas—some of them high school students—in short skirts, tank tops and high heels.

High school students? Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. But hey, even some of these coffee-shop owners and managers have their limits.

Bowden said law requires that employees cover their breasts and buttocks, so there will be no ‘thong Thursday,’ as some customers have requested.

Well, sure, because that would be tacky.

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