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Redwood City Residents Oppose Coffee Business' Bikini-Clad Baristas

REDWOOD CITY (KPIX) -- A Peninsula neighborhood is trying to shut down plans to open a new drive-through coffee operation where customers are served by scantily-clad baristas.

Opponents say they're not anti-business, but argue the baristas wearing bikinis at Pink Pantherz Espresso are too hot to handle.

There already is a Pink Pantherz Espresso location open in Fremont.

The skimpily dressed baristas serve provocatively named drinks like "Bootycall," "Striptease" and "Birthday Sex."

"We're just young girls who are confident and we're having fun and we're serving great drinks," said Pink Pantherz Espresso manager Sarah Perrin. "The coffee is great here."

But Pink pantherz is finding out they're not everyone's cup of tea.

Last week, several local residents expressed their concern at a San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting after learning Pink Pantherz plans to open up shop on El Camino Real in Redwood City.

"And it's a disgrace when all the children go past that place in the mornings" said one woman.

"I do not want this place in my community. This is my neighborhood. It is a safe place and it does not need a place like this," said a young girl.

Perrin disagrees.

"If you go out to a beach, you're seeing girls in bikinis, you know? You come here, we're in a stand you can't see the full image," she explained. "I think a lot of people have that misconception [that] you drive through and you get the whole show."

A county spokesperson said officials are reviewing the owners' application and that the owners must comply with county code that says workers must not expose their entire chests and must completely cover their bottoms.

Otherwise they would be considered an adult entertainment business, which is not zoned for that area.

A gentleman's club called Hanky Panky is just a block away from the proposed location, but that business was grandfathered in.

Perrin said she was surprised at the fuss being raised by residents.

"It kind of shocked me on a personal level that people do have this opposition against us," Perrin.

Perrin -- who will be managing the Redwood City drive-through if it opens in September as planned -- says Pink Pantherz is a family-friendly environment and nothing more than a caffeine pick me up.

"At the end of the day, it is just coffee," argued Perrin. "There's nothing that goes on beyond us handing you over a drink."

While the owners couldn't go on camera, they told KPIX they were sending pictures to the county Friday of the bikini top and shorts their workers will wear. They hope to get the OK and move forward.

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