UPDATE, MAY 11, 1:17 A.M.: After the jump, read community responses to the proposed ordinance.
ORIGINAL POST, MAY 10, 9:21 A.M.: Vietnamese coffee shops are getting too hot for Garden Grove police.
Apparently, some officers don't think a pair of pasties and six-inch clear plastic heels is appropriate attire for serving chrysanthemum tea.
According to the Orange County Register,
the City Council will consider modifying a city ordinance to include how much skin waitresses can show on the job. The ordinance targets "lingerie cafes"--popular spots like Cafe Di Vang 2
and Cafe Miss Cutie
where mostly Vietnamese men come for $5 coffee drinks, fruit smoothies and tea with free refills, all poured by scantily clad women (yes, some in just panties and nipple covers). There's no food, no alcohol and contrary to how things may appear, no "extras." You won't find any "private rooms" and if you wanna tip, you gotta put your dollar bills in the tip jar at the register, not in your server.
Police Chief Kevin Raney
told the Register
that the amended ordinance is meant to ensure that these establishments "do not turn into gentleman's clubs." One clause says women cannot expose any part of their breasts below the areola. Read: No underboob.
The modified ordinance, which will be discussed at tonight's City Council meeting, also aims to crack down on arcade games (which police say may be linked to gambling activity), smoking and tinting windows in a way so police cannot see what's going on inside.
These cafes may soon have to start serving some damn good coffee.
"Can we make them wear ponchos?" a man in the crowd asked as Garden Grove Police Chief Kevin Raney explained the proposed new rules for coffeehouses at Tuesday night's City Council meeting.
Voting 4-0, the City Council approved the first reading of the amended ordinance, which would ban "amusement devices" (tabletop machines often used for gambling), smoking (which is already banned, but this would be like a super ban), heavily tinted windows, and yes, the exposure of some lady (and man) bits.
According to Raney, here's what must be covered up: "The top of the areola down, any portion of the male or female pubic region, and as odd as this sounds, the natal cleft, which in layman's terms, is the butt crack."
He added, "We're not trying to regulate cleavage."
Residents who attended the meeting supported the ordinance. "Waitresses leave the coffee shop not wearing anything but a sheer dress," Nguyen Uong told City Council members. "You can see 99 percent of their private parts. You can see shapes! This is indecent exposure. They say [the coffeehouses] are turning into gentlemen's clubs. I think it's a lot worse than that."
Raney said one 12-year-old nudged his mother during lunchtime, saying, "Mom, look, there's a naked woman in there."
Garden Grove has 37 coffeehouses, which include places like Starbucks, where servers wear clothes. The City Council discussed the possibility of differentiating these run-of-the-mill spots from the so-called "lingerie cafes" so different rules can be applied, specifically curfew laws.
"The staff should define and separate the two businesses so we can treat them differently because they serve different clientele and different purposes," said Council Member Dina Nguyen.
Which just sounds like a bad idea. Racial profiling, I smell.
The second reading of the ordinance happens on May 24.