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A shot of sexpresso in Maine

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  January 16, 2009 07:23 AM

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Call it the spread of sexpresso in America.
Just in case you missed it my pal Brian McQuarrie had an interesting little story in Monday’s Globe about a Maine entrepreneur who’s trying to open a topless coffee shop amid the reeling economy in a small rural town north of Augusta.
This has set off quite a stir in the region. But this is really only the most recent incarnation of a larger trend in which coffee joints are deploying the scantily-clad and pulchritudinous to stand apart from competitors and pump up profits. And one of the things that's most surprising about it is that it has nothing to do with the state of Florida, a veritable business incubator for semi-nude start-ups.
In Greater Seattle, the self-appointed mecca of coffee culture in America -- and home to the unfortunately ubiquitous Starbucks -- there has been a battle of bikinied baristas raging.
The area has seen the arrival of the likes of Cowgirls Espresso, a pioneer in the niche with 16 shops in Washington (photos at right and below), Java Girls (now with 14 locations in 11 states), and The Sweet Spot Cafe in the past couple years.
In neighboring Oregon come reports of Bikini Coffee Company (with three stores in the state and a half dozen others in various locales on the drawing board) and in Vegas, Sexxpresso (which does Starbucks’ Short, Tall, Grande and Vente system one better by offering cup sizes in A, B, and DD).
For the most part, these ventures have involved young women in bikinis or other fantasy costumes. Not topless. And while the introduction of all these businesses met with some initial raised eyebrows and the usual howling from the starboard side they’ve come to be accepted.
That is, except in the cases of a couple of shops that pushed the envelope by dispensing with the tops in favor of pasties -- think cover-ups as small as a few Susan B. Anthonys. One place in Belfair, Wash., was temporarily closed, and others retreated to more acceptably titillating attire under public and governmental pressure.
These places, however, differ somewhat from the Maine plans. They were, for the most part, drive-throughs. The shop in Vassalboro will be in a building, offer the option of half-dressed male servers, have blacked-out windows, and some security presumably to bar a younger, more hormonally-charged and less self-controlled clientele.
The good underlying news in all this is that as far as I can tell the coffee in all these places tends to be pretty good. Which would, of course, be the main reason I personally would go.

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42 comments so far...
  1. lol! Look at the tramp stamps! hahahaha classic.

    Posted by portslob January 16, 09 01:09 PM
  1. FYI this concept is not original - it origniated in Chile years ago. If you travel there and ask for a "Cafe con Piernas" (translates literally as a cafe with legs), you will be directed to one of dozens of coffee shops where women dress in underwear while serving coffee.

    Posted by Cory January 16, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Fantastic. All anyone needs to remember is - if you don't like them, don't visit one.

    Posted by Eddie S January 16, 09 01:37 PM
  1. Vassalsboro, not Vasselboro. And yet another reason why the frozen northern climes excels above the petty nanny-state to the south

    Posted by APC January 16, 09 01:48 PM
  1. you guys are all idiots

    Posted by jack January 16, 09 01:58 PM
  1. Or you could just stop by the Foxy Lady, Fantasies or Centerfolds, order a coffee and have a girl in lingerie bring it to you while you watch nude girls walk around the place.

    Posted by Bob January 16, 09 02:20 PM
  1. Circuit City should've thought of this.....

    Posted by steveareno January 16, 09 02:45 PM
  1. I'm against this. Then again, I'm also against most things that involve consumption, the human body, or play.

    Posted by K.R. Mudgeon January 16, 09 03:01 PM
  1. AWESOME.. i hate loooking at the Heffers that work at D&D

    Posted by soxfan12321 January 16, 09 03:10 PM
  1. piping hot liquid + bare torso = impending worker's compensation suit

    A spill is inevitable...

    Posted by Noel January 16, 09 03:11 PM
  1. I believe there is already an adult coffee shop in Maine - South Portland's Platinum Plus advertises one.

    Posted by DG January 16, 09 03:17 PM
  1. How is this any different than Hooters? Big-breasted women in booty shorts serving customers chicken wings.
    If you don't like it, go elsewhere.

    Posted by Brosephine January 16, 09 03:17 PM
  1. Hey Soxfan 12321

    You appear to be very hostile, those Heffers that work at D & D are not there by choice, they have familes to support and perhaps, lots of shopping.

    Posted by napfan09 January 16, 09 03:23 PM
  1. Jeeez, there used to be a topless doughnut shop just outside of Portland years ago, this is nothing new in Maine. Coffee, Doughnuts and Tatas

    Posted by vlatak January 16, 09 03:28 PM
  1. YOU know Soxfan12321, highly dissapointed in your comments.

    What a nerve to call those hardworking ,lovey people at D&D Heffers.--How DARE you??? Do you realize those people might be there to support their familes, to put food on their table, purchase a new outfit??? or, to provide a college education to their children. They are not privelege like you , to have daddy and mommy pay for everything. What a male chauvinist BRAT.

    Posted by Napfan09 January 16, 09 03:38 PM
  1. These places have nothing on Japanese maid cafes. Now that is entertainment.

    Posted by Been there, done that January 16, 09 03:44 PM
  1. As long as they include the female demographic, but I think the male servers should be bottomless rather than topless.

    Posted by chm January 16, 09 04:08 PM
  1. Going to Maine this weekend?

    Posted by Jay January 16, 09 04:16 PM
  1. Is the coffee anygood?

    Posted by Coxmo Kerr January 16, 09 04:23 PM
  1. Napfan09,

    You have to be kidding.... the offensive line at dunks could probably benchpress the entire state of Maine

    If dunks tried serving breakfast topless... (insert any joke about rolls, sweaty armits, or losing breakfast sandwichs in the meat slabs that make up their boobies, yes, i said 'boobies')


    Posted by Soxfan12321 January 16, 09 04:28 PM
  1. Are they franchising this?

    Posted by smart January 16, 09 04:31 PM
  1. Napfan09-
    Your repeating youself. Maybe you need a nap. And just because the chicks at D&D need money to support what ever various habits they have (eating and breathing included), does not discount the fact that they are FAT. I agree with soxfan12321...BRING EM ON!!

    Posted by bootyfan January 16, 09 04:35 PM
  1. Well bottyfan,

    That name alone says quite a bit about you. Apparently that's all you care about,--probably don't even get NONE. Wouldn't expect another male chauvinist to understand the perils of being uneducated, unmarketable, single parent, who's unable to fully speak english. Here we go again. you are problably one of those boomerang kids who live at home with mama with no real responsibilites.

    Posted by napfan09 January 16, 09 04:46 PM
  1. napfan09-

    While I found SoxFan's post humorous and understand your position, how are you going to call somebody uneducated and then say "probably don't even get none"?

    Posted by T January 16, 09 05:34 PM
  1. Circuit City would've bit the dust even if they were offering a complementary lap dance with every 50" flatscreen...

    Judging by business news out of the Globe/, sounds like they should be franchising newstands with hot coffee and hotties...

    Posted by loyalreader January 16, 09 05:55 PM
  1. DG, not to be nitpicky but yes, the shop does exist as part of Platinum Plus in Portland, right off x48 (or x8 to the oldtimers). Used to work right down the street. Never did go in for a coffee, but lots of jokes about it...

    Posted by Chuck January 16, 09 06:13 PM
  1. I go to Cowgirls Espresso every day. I am woman, i have kids and i send my husband to go all the time. 90% of the girls are going to school and are VERY sweet nice GOOD girls, blessed with a great body. I go because i am treated better at Cowgirls Espresso than any other espresso stand i have stopped at and the coffee is the best in the state of Wa !! All you ladies who are crying about this concept need to get some confidence. If you where 19 and putting your self through collage and had a nice body and 1/2 a brain you would be doing it too...i would!

    Posted by Little Moose January 16, 09 09:14 PM
  1. I love places like these. It's good coffee and fun to go to. Great idea for any outfits and the girls look like they have a good time at work. Who wouldn't love a place to work at where you could walk around in your underwear all day?? Sign me up.

    Posted by Seattle Coffee Gal January 16, 09 09:19 PM
  1. Cowgirls is right next to my office and it's always packed. The girls are great, super with the customers and the coffee is the best around. I live in the land of Starbucks and Cowgirls always buys and serves premium coffee.

    Posted by Rob-Kent, WA January 16, 09 09:45 PM
  1. Geez, it's a free country isn't it? Unless we all get nationalized, I don't think you'll find the Cowgirls looking for a Federal handout. Get off their backs and let the free market work... now there's a novel concept, Work!

    Posted by Steve in Kent January 16, 09 11:53 PM
  1. Hey, life is too short to not enjoy a good cup of coffee brewed by a good looking young lady dressed no worse than if she were at the beach.

    Posted by Pat January 17, 09 12:01 AM
  1. COWGIRLS have the best coffee and the best wakeup in the morning or anytime.

    Posted by Dave January 17, 09 10:17 AM
  1. Everyone needs to just get past the fact that the girls wear such little outfits. They worked hard to get those bodies! lol The only thing anyone should be concerned about is the cup of coffee. Cowgirls blend (yes they have their own blend) is by far the best coffee I've ever had. And I have yet to hear of anyone who isn't impressed after they try it.

    Posted by Cristeena in Federal Way January 17, 09 11:42 AM
  1. Im a huge fan of cowgirls Espresso.The girls are all very friendly, fast ,an the Coffee is so good!!

    Posted by julie January 17, 09 07:04 PM
  1. Cowgirls is great. The coffee is great. The girls are not only great, but they kick start my day.

    Posted by Larry January 17, 09 09:00 PM
  1. Cowgirls Espresso was a great idea and the owner is an amazing woman that is spreading her business out through a franchise! The girls that work there all know the best way to make a cup of coffee that also makes your day! People need to get past the fact that the girls are wearing very little I am a woman and I go everyday the coffee that they use is great the people are great and its nice to go to a place where they actually talk to you while they make your drink! The girls at Cowgirls Espresso are the best around!!!!!

    Posted by Olivia January 18, 09 01:14 PM
  1. Cowgirls is a great place. The coffee and the girls that work there are awsome. its to bad that there are people out there that can't get past the fact that the girls are young cute. It’s not what your wearing that makes a great cup of coffee it's the product and the talent of the person making it. For those that are all up in arms about what the girls are wearing you should go one day to Cowgirls and try a cup you won’t be disappointed. The Girls like I said before are awesome and the coffee is great. And No I am not a guy or a lesbian. Lol

    Posted by greatcoffee in wa January 19, 09 11:53 AM
  1. It's a free country - right? If you are offended, don't go. Cowgirls Espresso is a professionally run business, serving an incredible cup of coffee with great service.

    Posted by LM in Washington January 20, 09 12:29 PM
  1. Ok, so how did this topic change to Cowgirls?

    Posted by Napfan09 January 20, 09 03:19 PM
  1. SUPER fun little idea, original or not here it has been, great staff and why wouldn't you want to see a little hottie if able. They have a great menu with more then just coffee. Today is the day of drive threw, they press their own coffee which produces a way better shot they do not have automated machines. And the stands are so cute painted like a cow so you know where one is if ya need to stop in. I am sure the girls make great tips if ya got it flaunt it. Keep doing what your doing ladies.

    Posted by Cene January 21, 09 01:41 PM
  1. If only Hooters will follow the trend.

    Posted by Cesar Cedeno February 25, 09 02:34 PM
  1. Unbelievable. Not that a topless coffee shop is opening - more that anyone (Anyone!) would raise an eyebrow. When almost every child over the age of 15 is an internet gynecologist, a topless barista is a non-event. To me the most amazing part is that it's in... Maine! The initial news reports showed... snow! Now I dunno about you, but if I was going to work in a topless environment, it would NOT be in Maine...

    Posted by Gary Sloane February 26, 09 04:15 PM
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