A return to bikini-clad baristas in Everett, judge rules

Oct 24, 2022, 12:25 PM
bikini baristas...
(AP file photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
(AP file photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

G-strings and pasties are back in Everett, at least at some drive-through bikini barista coffee stands.

A federal court has struck down a dress code enacted by the city of Everett five years ago banning certain revealing clothes at bikini coffee stands.

U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez said the ordinance that outlawed the scantily clad bikini baristas unlawfully targets the clothing of women, but not men.

“This Ordinance clearly treats women differently than men by banning a wide variety of women’s clothing, not just pasties, and g-strings, or bikinis,” Martinez wrote. “The restrictions are so detailed they effectively prescribe the clothes to be worn by women in quick service facilities.”

On The Gee and Ursula Show, Ursula Reutin harkens back to 2017 when KIRO Newsradio would get listener complaints about “sexually explicit activity” at the coffee stands.

She said the ordinance even coined the phrase “cleft,” referring to baristas butt crack. “That became a running joke around here,” guest host Mike Lewis said.

John & Shari: Bikini baristas continuing legal fight against Everett dress code

This all began in 2017 when Everett City Council members unanimously passed two ordinances expanding the definition of lewd conduct, fining coffee stand owners for violations, and establishing a dress code for the baristas.

“The judge said that you can’t make a set of regulations about just women’s clothes, you can make a set of regulations about clothes in general,” Lewis said.

“This kind of became weirdly enough in this court case, a battle of two amendments. The 14th Amendment is about equal protection under the law, and then the First Amendment is about free speech and whether or not a bikini or a g-string qualifies as free speech.”

It remains to be seen how this will all play out because the city of Everett is considering the ruling and assessing its next steps.

Some individual baristas and a coffee stand owner filed a suit against the city. They said they would like to see the case go to the appeals court so the ruling is affirmed.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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A return to bikini-clad baristas in Everett, judge rules