Updated: September 25, 2009 at 12:00 am
Just in time for cold weather: hot lattes and hot ladies.
Bikini baristas work the windows at two new drive-through coffee stands in Colorado Springs: Wiki Wiki Coffee and Bikini Xpresso.
Customers come for the uh, well, everything.
“Nice view. Good way to start the morning,” said Wiki customer William Franceschi, taking in the scenery while his drink was made.
Stan Griffin stood at the window snapping cell phone pictures to show his Pueblo co-workers, who didn’t believe his stories about beach-bare baristas.
“The coffee’s good. And the women are nice to look at, I’m not going to lie,” Griffin said.
After doing research, Fedrica Clark, a mother of two, opened Wiki earlier this month at Academy and Union boulevards to cash in on a wave of bikini espressos that started on the West Coast.
“We’ve gotten a lot of regulars,” she said. “It’s picking up.”
Most customers are men, paying $2 for a small cup of Joe without batting an eye or fumbling a pickup line.
“You get a lot of older men, older like middle-30s,” said Wiki barista Carrie Megyeri, 18, tan from her job as a summer raft guide. “One guy said, ‘Will you please marry an old schmo like me?’”
Inside the heated hut, the busy baristas juggle chatting up customers and pouring hot liquids.
“The other day, an espresso machine exploded on me. It was a little hot, but it wasn’t too bad,” said Wiki barista Melysa Waterbury, 20, a college student from Florida with a stock of bikini uniforms. “I like showing off my body, and especially if I can make money off of it.”
The baristas take turns shaking signs on Academy to appeal to thirsts. It draws attention to the strip mall tucked from the road.
The scantily clad women are in clear view of shoppers at nearby Christian Outlet Bookstore, where the $1 self-serve coffee gets fewer takers.
“It creates excitement and has brought more traffic. It’s great,” bookstore owner Allen Bickle said. “A lot of people have their own views and opinions, but we don’t want to judge.”
Leo Schraner, owner of Bikini Xpresso at Powers and Omaha Boulevards, already has plans to expand after a week in business selling such specialty coffees as “Naughty Breva.”
“Maybe in a few months we’ll open one with guys with Speedos,” said the entrepreneur from Austria.
At Wiki, Clark plans to keep the gender status quo — and it doesn’t exclude men.
“Men clean up,” she said.
Call the writer at 636-0253.