Bikini baristas Chico-bound

Bottoms Up Espresso gets Chicoans riled; S&S celebrates; Paradise’s La Comida says farewell

Chico is all abuzz with coffee news, which tends to come in waves rather than espresso-size cups. Speaking of cup sizes … the main topic of chatter right now is the impending arrival of Bottoms Up Espresso, whose signs have gone up at the now-closed Java Detour at the ever-busy intersection of East First and Mangrove avenues. Um, wow.

I spoke with a few people in the local business community, including those in the coffee biz, and they’re none too happy about Bottoms Up’s concept, which appears to be hot young coeds serving caffeinated beverages in bikinis or other barely-there clothing. No joke, some of the photos on Yelp of a Central Valley-based location show almost-naked bottoms on counters and stripper-style Catholic school girl skirts that reveal, well, just about everything.

“I don’t know how in a college town we can put this on one of our main thoroughfares,” one business owner—and the mother of two daughters—told me.

Bottoms Up started in Modesto in 2011 and now is franchising. While its website claims a positive response in the Modesto area, other communities have not necessarily welcomed self-described “bikini coffee shops” with open arms. According to news reports, residents in other Central Valley towns have mounted opposition against Bottoms Up and other similar shops, with most complaints involving indecency of employee dress and signs, including menus with drink names like “Sex in Your Mouth.” Some have been at least somewhat successful. In San Mateo County, for instance, code requires buttocks be entirely covered if you don’t want to be considered adult entertainment.

The CN&R has fielded a few calls about it, so I headed to the Chico Municipal Code to see what’s permissible here in non-strip-club-type establishments. After all, children are welcome at coffee stands. In its definition of an adult entertainment facility, the code includes “models appearing in lingerie, to the point where specified anatomical areas are exposed.” What are those anatomical areas, you ask? Here are a few: “pubic regions,” “female breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola,” “human male genitals in a discernible turgid state” and, drumroll please, “buttocks.” I’m pretty sure First and Mangrove isn’t zoned for adult entertainment.

Stay tuned—this one should be juicy.

For Java Detour fans, the location on the corner of The Esplanade and East Avenue is still open.

So long! After 49 years in business, La Comida in Paradise (at 6155 Skyway) announced last week that it will be closed as of Sept. 1. So, if you’re a regular, make sure to stop in before that door is locked permanently at the end of the day Friday (Aug. 31). The Chico spot, which celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year, will remain open.