Bikini baristas have been a hot button issue in the City of Spokane for some time now, and now the issue is heating up in Spokane Valley, where people are protesting Triple XXX Espresso's Topless Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Coalition for Community Values, which held a protest at the stand Thursday morning, are not mad simply because these lingerie espresso shops exist but because they claim they don't follow the rules that are already in place and expose families to adult entertainment.
"While we were standing here a middle school kid on his way to school at North Pines and he wandered into the parking lot so he could try and get a look at the girls," Sandy Ross, one of the protesters, said.
"These girls are naked … g-strings and pasties," she added.
"It's absolutely wrong," protester Shelly Grant said. "It should be treated as adult entertainment and regulated that way."
"Do you think they're selling coffee in there really? I don't think it's the point and I think it gives our town a bad name," Brianna Larsen said.
Brianna Larsen and her sister Sarah said they don't judge the women who work at Triple XXX Espresso.
"I just feel bad if they don't know that they are worth more and I feel bad that the school buses have to drive by and that the decent guys in this town have to drive by and it makes it harder for them," Larsen said.
"It's upsetting because, especially with the young girls pulling up there, I mean maybe their dad is going there for their own pleasure but then she is growing up thinking that is all she can amount to," Sarah Larsen said.
"We have so many customers that come by with their kids, it's their choice, we hand out suckers, we do nothing but make coffee," Triple XXX barista Jessica Etchart said.
Etchart said things have been hectic since the Coalition for Community Values showed up in front of her espresso stand.
"They have been pretty darn mean, they have been pretty rude, we have been nothing but peaches and cream, sweet and kind, we support their right to protest all day every day, it's their American right to protest," she said.
Etchart added there's been a side effect of the protest that is probably not one the Coalition for Community Values anticipated.
"I'll tell you what, we have gained so many regulars today from them being out on the street, it has been insane," Etchart said.
Among the women picketing Triple XXX Espresso are fathers; in fact some of the most outspoken protesters for the Coalition for Community Values are men.
"I have to try and turn my eyes the other way when I drive by and I don't want my kids to have to do the same thing," Dr. Allen Skidmore said.
The coalition said the City of Spokane Valley has an ordinance that should prohibit this.
"They're not enforcing it and if the language isn't clear enough we need to write new ordinances but its going to take us all uniting together because I think we are the majority," Sandy Ross said.
In response to the concerns raised about the bikini baristas, a representative from the City of Spokane Valley said, "We are sensitive to the concerns of citizens and to the issues involved. We are in the process of reviewing all the options available."
Triple XXX Espresso said they don't serve small children that come up to the window without adults, but they do serve teenagers who are old enough to drive. Etchart emphasized that it's a matter of choice as to where you get your coffee.
"If you don't like it, it is your choice to come here or not," she said. "We have our stand set back pretty far from the street with a 35 mile per hour road you can't see anything when you are driving by," she said.