CAMPBELL (KPIX) — A controversial cup of Joe is brewing in one South Bay neighborhood because the coffee isn’t the only thing that’s hot.
Critics of Pink Pantherz Espresso say the coffee is too hot and steamy to serve, including Campbell resident and mother of two young girls, Cristiae Gibson.
“If you’re selling coffee, dress appropriate,” she said.
Pink Pantherz, which opened a Campbell location Friday on Hamilton Ave., sells coffee by bikini-clad baristas. Their drinks have names such as Dirty Blonde, Irish Babe, The Tease and Eye Candy.
On social media, particularly NextDoor.com, community members have complained about the drive-up shop’s location.
One woman wrote: “Right in between two elementary schools, a day care…? Just disgusting.”
Another poster said: “This isn’t the kind of things I want my sons seeing. And what are we saying to our daughters…”
“It’s disrespectful for women,” said Campbell resident Maria Monti. “It’s just using women as an object; sexual object, in this case.”
But not everyone agrees the shop is inappropriate.
“If you don’t want to see it, you don’t want to look, don’t come here,” said Gary Coluccio who said he has yet to try the coffee, and is open to doing so.
His wife agrees.
“I mean they’re not outside, nobody can see them unless you drive up,” said Mary Coluccio.
The owner of Pink Pantherz is all too familiar with the debate over the dress code. Last year, community members tried to stop the shop from moving into Redwood City. The owner runs several locations in the central valley and Bay Area.
The manager at the Campbell location told KPIX in a statement, “We uphold the most professionalism…it’s just coffee, nothing goes beyond the barista handing you over a coffee just like any other coffee shop.”
She said the city code doesn’t allow them to show their buttocks, so employees have considered the idea of wearing robes or flannels with bikinis underneath.
“They’re women, we can wear whatever we want as long as we’re like following the law, I mean, if there was men with no shirts on I don’t think people would have a problem with it,” said Autumn Patellaro, who works nearby.
But it’s clear by the controversy brewing that the shop isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, including Gibson’s.
“This is a family neighborhood and this is not OK,” she said. “Put a sweater on, you’re selling coffee.”
The official grand opening of the Campbell Pink Pantherz is on March 1.