Dress Code

The Era of the Bikini Barista Could Be Coming to an End in Everett

Tank top and shorts barista doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Baristas in Everett are getting a new dress code.

The City Council on Wednesday night voted unanimously to approve a proposal drawn up by staff. New ordinances generally go into effect 15 days after being signed by the mayor.

Stand owners say they are considering legal action in federal court on civil rights grounds.

The dress code requires employees at “quick service” restaurants—think fast food, food trucks and coffee stands—to wear a minimum of tank tops and shorts. The language is aimed at bikini baristas, whose outfits often consist of body paint, stickers and g-strings.

A second piece of legislation, also approved 7-0, expands the definition of lewd conduct citywide. The traditional definition covers sexual activity or nudity in public places. The new wording clarifies what areas of skin can be exposed, on top and bottom.

In addition, it creates a new misdemeanor on the books, called “facilitating lewd conduct.” A business owner could face jail time and a $5,000 fine for allowing or encouraging lewd conduct.

According to the city, together the new rules are supposed to make it easier to bring civil sanctions at stands where baristas engage in prostitution or flash body parts for cash. In past years, investigators found Everett bikini businesses that were operating as drive-thru brothels, leading to felony convictions, asset seizures and the eventual destruction of some stands.

Owners whose employees are found in violation of the dress code would have to pay a $250 fine and obtain a probationary license to keep operating that stand. Additional violations would bring fines and potential loss of the license.

Some bikini stand owners, including Schuyler Lifschultz of Hillbilly Hotties, say the legislation violates their civil rights, along with those of their employees. He and about a dozen people spoke in opposition at the council meeting. He is not planning to make changes at his business at this point.

“We are confident this will be overturned due to the gross civil rights violations,” he said.

Lifschultz says the new rules could subject baristas to having their buttocks measured by officials, and may invite ogling.

“You are literally requiring females to be stared at and prodded in order to keep their job!” he wrote in an email summarizing his opposition.

rking@heraldnet.com

This story originally appeared in the Everett Herald.

More in News & Comment

Bellevue Votes to Permanently Ban Safe-Drug Sites

Leaders say the sites make “no sense” for their city.

What Jenny Durkan’s Time as U.S. Attorney Says About Her As a Candidate

She made some progressive reforms. But she also leaned on activists and declined to prosecute anyone involved in the WaMu collapse.

Beds at Recovery Place, a new substance abuse and mental health treatment facility in Seattle. Photo by Sara Bernard
In Effort to Tackle Opioid Epidemic, New Facility Will Host Detox and Mental Health Services in One

The facility is designed to address drug addiction and the root causes of homelessness.

Sebastian Burns, left, and Atif Rafay, right, when they were arrested at age 19. Contributed mug shots
‘The Confession Tapes’ Re-Opens the Triple-Murder Case of Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay

King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg says the show is bunk. The creators disagree.

Flickr/Chris Sampson
Union: Airline Caterer Kept Paying Sub-Minimum Wages After It Was Hit With $300K Fine

And because of a new settlement, the city is unlikely to go after wages the workers say they are entitled to.

Nikkita Oliver at a campaign’s-end press conference at Washington Hall on August 15. Photo by Sara Bernard
Nikkita Oliver Will Moderate a Mayoral Debate On Oct. 29

Oliver announced plans to hold a debate during her concession speech in August.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal
What to Look For Next Week When the State Supreme Court Hears the Latest McCleary Case

As each side argues over school funding, the schools chief pushes for more special education money.

Most Read