Clovis espresso bar agrees to lighten up on sex appeal (video)

The Fresno BeeMay 19, 2014 

Bottom's Up, the Clovis drive-through espresso bar whose scantily clad baristas and suggestive drink names got a heated review from unhappy neighbors, has agreed to tone down its saucier drink names.

The business agreed to rename three of its most provocatively named specialty drinks. They're now called "Tropical Kiss," "Sweet Cheeks" and "Hawaiian Nights." The previous names were, well, unprintable (at least in a family newspaper).

Espresso bar co-owner Alexandra Ireland of Modesto who opened the business earlier this year at 691 W. Shaw Ave., said Monday that she wanted to be a good neighbor. She felt the name changes were acceptable.

"We want to be part of the city," she said. "Sometimes the war is not worth the effort. It's a very simple thing for me to change some drink names."

The changes appeared to satisfy Clovis resident Candice Eslick, who led a petition drive against Bottom's Up's drink menu and dress code.

"They listened to the 150 people who didn't feel it was appropriate in our neighborhood," Eslick said Monday.

The Clovis City Council received a report Monday night from the city's attorney, who said the city did not have to take action against Bottom's Up. Nevertheless, he said, police talked to store managers to ask if they would consider changing some drink names.

The City Council heard the attorney's report Monday night but took no action.

Council Member Bob Whalen thanked Eslick for her efforts, and said the espresso bar "wouldn't have responded" if she hadn't pushed the issue to the City Council.

The business came under fire from Eslick and her neighbors because of skimpy attire worn by its female employees, who make the drinks wearing lingerie, two-piece bathing suits or other sparse wardrobe choices. Eslick started a petition that had more than 100 signatures demanding the business adopt more clothing and a less racy menu.

But City Attorney David Wolfe said the store was not violating any rules about attire. He said there was one instance of a wardrobe malfunction, but none since.

He also said the menu board, with or without the suggestive names, was still within city guidelines.

"Provided the baristas continue to cover up and avoid the nudity and semi-nudity ban, and drinks are not tied to the depiction of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas," Wolfe wrote in his staff report, "the kiosk is in compliance with city ordinances and state law."

Staff writer Nadia Pearl contributed to this report. The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6166, mbenjamin@fresnobee.com or @beebenjamin on Twitter.

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