A Vietnamese coffee house where the waitresses wear bikinis has been hit with a lawsuit from city officials who want to shut the coffee house down.
In February, Stanton city officials filed a suit against GZ Cafe, claiming waitresses had exposed their breasts and genitals to customers, and customers smoked inside, according to the Orange County Register. The lawsuit stated, “The city has a duty and an interest in protecting the public health, safety and welfare within the city.” On Jan. 15, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department issued citations to three waitresses at GZ Café for violating Stanton’s municipal code, according to Lt. Mark Stichter, the sheriff’s spokesman.
GZ Café had a previous incarnation in Garden Grove starting in 2011, where it received seven citations for nudity and other citations for smoking before moving to Stanton last December. But in Stanton, nudity is cause for a misdemeanor that could precipitate six months in a jail and a $1,000 fine. The Register reported, “In 2015, when the cafe was still in Garden Grove, waitresses were seen on multiple occasions with their bikini tops pulled to the side; in some instances, their bikini bottoms, which usually had cash sticking out from them, were pulled to the side as well.”
The owner of the café, owner Rachel Tran, told the Register that the charges of nudity were false, pointing to some waitresses and saying, “Look at that. The girls, what are they wearing? I can’t say anything more than that.” Randal Whitecotton, an attorney for GZ Café, said, “There are girls in normal cover such as bikinis or shorts and shirts, pretty girls, serving your drinks to you. And that’s it,” according to CBS Los Angeles. He added, “The girls are pretty. The waitress are pretty and they serve drinks, nonalcoholic drinks. Coffee and smoothies and that’s exactly what it is,” as reported by NBC Los Angeles.
The Register reported that the café smelled of smoke, but no one was smoking, although some customers were playing on gaming machines, outlawed in Stanton. Tran said, “We don’t allow our customers to smoke.”
Junior Hernandez, who owns a barbershop next to the coffehouse, told the Register, “It increases foot traffic. I think it’s good for all the businesses here; we’ve seen more customers since it opened. So I have no problem with it.”
Stanton’s complaint states, “The city has no plain, speedy or adequate remedy at law” to punish the coffee house. Thus, unless a court deals with the matter, the city “will be unable to enforce its well-established right to control land use within the city and to enforce its local laws.” The complaint also asserts that Tran “threatened” to ignore Stanton’s coffee house law.