The owner of a new bikini barista stand says the business is staying put, despite objections from neighbors.
"I expect objection. That's fine. Like I said, everyone's entitled to their own thoughts on my business," said Leah Sizemore.
Dream Girl Espresso has had no shortage of customers since opening three weeks ago at the corner of 19th Avenue and Elm Street, she said.
But, almost immediately, the business drew the ire of several people who live in the neighborhood near the drive-through espresso stand.
"Personally, it's the objectification of women and the commercialization of women," said Eric Canon, who lives down the street from the stand. "Using a woman's body to merchandise something. And that bothers me."
Other neighbors, he said, are concerned about the effect the stand may have on the neighborhood.
"It has changed our neighborhood. It has affected many people, their feeling of security and safety. They're concerned where they were not," said Canon.
Many of those neighbors brought their concerns to the Forest Grove City Council, but the council can't do anything about the business, because it is legal, said city attorney Paul Elsner.
Sizemore called notions the business is selling sex "slanderous" and "judgmental."
"We don't sell coffee nude. We don't sell sex," she said. "We sell coffee in bikinis, lingerie. Like I said, we're within our legal limits."
In a move to ease tensions in the neighborhood, Sizemore said she has instructed women who work in the Forest Grove location to wear bikini tops, rather than pasties or lingerie some baristas wear at the Dream Girl Espresso Stand in Hillsboro.
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