Perhaps because I have a Y chromosome, I’m drawn to stare at the occupants of the small pink trailer each morning as I bike to work, but I like to think there’s more to it than that. Sitting at the edge of a parking lot on a prominent corner, a neon “open” sign flashes and light floods out of every window, so that on a dark morning, one’s eye wanders there whether you intend to look or not.
Cars regularly line up outside of Hot Bikini Brew to get their morning fix. The ladies inside, dressed in revealing bathing suits, as you may have guessed, ostensibly serve coffee. Some wear high-riding French-cut bottoms, others a standard bikini, and some sport just a thong.
When The Brew first appeared on the corner of one of the most liberal neighborhoods in Portland (and possibly the country), I wasn’t so sure what to make of it. Was it an art project? A statement of empowered women choosing to use their bodies to make a living? A crass, chauvinistic means to sell an inferior product?
I watched intently for some time, trying to discern its intent, but after a few months, it became clear that this was no art project. There was nothing creative about it, but still people seemed to like it. The Brew has been a stable fixture on that corner for several years. Each morning a small line of mostly male drivers line up and the woman inside moves deftly about, mixing lattes and making coffee. Regardless of the weather, the employees are always dressed the same way.
Although my libido is just fine, I have no attraction to the baristas. Instead, I find myself thinking that if I was a coffee drinker, I’d be more inclined to patronize their establishment if things were a bit more interesting. (No, not like that!)
Why couldn’t it be space week and have astronauts whipping up freeze dried coffee and that weird, crunchy ice cream? What if it was Dada week and the coffee was dispensed out of a urinal ala Marcel Duchamp? During a tropical summer week they could serve daquiris instead of cappuccino. And on Sadie Hawkins day, perhaps big burly men in Speedos could serve the coffee?
But no, that’s not the way it works at all. It’s just the same old boring girls serving boring coffee. But maybe, just maybe, if I rolled up there one day and bought my coffee from the girl in the bikini, it would be interesting, at least the first time…