Objectification-schmectification. At Bikini Coffee Co. in Salem, every order comes extra-hot. Barista uniforms consist of a bikini, shorts and tennis shoes. The baristas (who sign modeling contracts) flash smiles and skin and are nice to you. They don't shout your order in loud coffee-code and take time to craft drinks with their "Bikini Blend" of Salem beans. On the landscape of dime-a-dozen espresso shacks, it's a caffeinated sex oasis. And Portlanders will soon get the same treatment, like it or not, at Bikini Coffee's tiny new walk-in downtown PDX location. Brothers Adam Marshall, 29, and Steven Rotan, 35, opened Salem's Bikini Coffee in May 2006 to cater to blue-collar "average Joes" who they say shun Starbucks. Now the shops are spreading like wildfire...hot, big-breasted wildfire. Bikini Coffee is opening five locations in Bangkok, Thailand, and has franchise agreements in 36 states. "If just one location opens in each of the 36 states, the fees would accumulate to $1 million easy," says Rotan. Order up.
GAWK: Bikini Coffee, 520 SW 5th Ave., 409-8757. Opening Monday, July 14. To apply, contact email@example.com.
5 Things You Didn't Know About Bikini Baristas
They're smart, apparently: "They're way smarter than Adam and I," says Rotan. Barista Nicole Molten is a certified helicopter pilot, and getting her degree in molecular biology from Western Oregon University before med school. Most of the baristas are enrolled in college.
They make bank: They make minimum wage plus 100 percent of their tips, but the tips are stripperlike in magnitude. Barista Carmel Rotan (Steven's wife) can pull in up to $150 just during a morning shift, and Molten pays off her $753 helicopter-school student loan every month working part-time.
They don't get scorched by steaming-hot milk: With all that exposed flesh you'd think these ladies would be pockmarked with steam burns and other nasty scars. Not so they swear. But Carmel did burn her pinkie once (the horror!).
They're not out to steal your husband: They might be your boo's confidante for three minutes every morning, but they won't torpedo themselves out of the drive-thru window into his car and suck his face off. Friendly chitchat is their specialty. "We're kind of like therapists," says Molten.
"Our lesbians tip the best": C'mon, dudes. You're getting beat by a bunch of girls.
WEDNESDAY JULY 9
Matmos has always been a group that, for the non-techie, isn't so easy to digest. That's by no means a bad thing, and new album Supreme Balloon is the perfect melding of the listenable and the artsy. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 233-1994. 9 pm. $15. All ages.
THURSDAY JULY 10
[MUSIC] RETRIBUTION GOSPEL CHOIR
Slowcore band Low has been known to feature pillowcases at its merch table, no surprise considering its lethargy-inducing sound. No wonder Low guitarist Alan Sparhawk had a jones to unleash some rockin' six-string fury. Enter Retribution Gospel Choir. Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $10. 21+.
SATURDAY JULY 12
[CELEBRATION] BASTILLE DAY BLOCK PARTY
Pix Pâtisserie is pulling out all the stops for its second annual Bastille Day Block Party—packed with events, from the Mini Médoc Marathon (running and wine tasting, in costumes) to the Tour de Portland (a citywide bicycle scavenger hunt). Pix Pâtisserie-North, 3901 N Williams Ave., 282-6539. 10 am. Most events are free.
[SCREEN] TWISTED: A BALLOONAMENTARY
A documentary profiles the world's foremost balloon-animal artists. We want an octopus! Fighting a sea lion! Pleeeeaaase? Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-4215. $4-$6.50.
[CELEBRATION] MISSISSIPPI AVENUE STREET FAIR
One of NoPo's main drags closes down for a day to become a haven for hippies, hipsters and other folks who like to hang out in the middle of the street. North Mississippi Avenue between Skidmore and Fremont streets, 10 am-7 pm. Free.
TUESDAY JULY 15
[CLASSICAL] ORION STRING QUARTET
This Chamber Music Northwest concert presents the admirably sensitive foursome led by the Phillips brothers. Catlin Gabel School, 8825 SW Barnes Road, 8 pm. $10-$43.
[MUSIC] WOLF PARADE
Picking a fave Wolf Parade songwriter is like trying to decide between LeBron and Kobe—each time you pick a side, the other one just raises his game to another level. And new record At Mount Zoomer sounds like a classic upon first listen. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 9 pm. $15. All ages.