Lingerie, bikini-clad baristas stir up controversy at proposed coffee shop near Redwood City

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A new coffee shop may be coming to the Redwood City area at the old Caffino drive-thru on El Camino Real, south of Woodside Road. But, the new Pink Pantherz Espresso would look a whole lot different, with a little more pink and a lot more skin. (KGO-TV)

A new coffee shop may be coming to the Redwood City area at the old Caffino drive-thru on El Camino Real, south of Woodside Road. But, the new Pink Pantherz Espresso would look a whole lot different, with a little more pink and a lot more skin.

"It's the Hooters of coffee," exclaimed James Rundell who works in the coffee business.

Rundell was not happy to hear about the the plan for lingerie and bikini clad women to serve up caffeinated beverages, with names like "Wet Kiss Mocha" and "Birthday Sex," as seen on the menu at the Fremont location. "It's bad for coffee, it's bad for women." said Rundell who added, "I don't know. Redwood City having the bathing suit coffee shop, it's just a weird fit."

San Mateo County is still reviewing Pink Pantherz' change of ownership application. If the the baristas' attire does not meet specific county code about what body parts are covered, than the the coffee shop will be deemed an adult business, which is not allowed in the zoning district.

"A lot of people have that stigma against it, but when you actually get there, the girls are really nice and there's no inappropriate stuff," said Thuc Nguyen. Nguyen has never been to Pink Pantherz, but says she knows several women who have worked at a lingerie cafe in Orange County. "One of my friends was doing it because her mom had cancer and it was a good way to earn money. I don't judge, I think it's cool."

Pink Pantherz currently has three locations in Fresno, Modesto and a Fremont store, which appeared to be very popular, with a line of cars in the drive-thru, on Monday afternoon.

San Mateo County officials say it's unclear when and if this fourth location would open.

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