State - Brighton Township Hot drinks Coffee shop to use baristas dressed in sexy lingerie, bikinis

By Frank Konkel

Livingston County Daily Press & Argus

BRIGHTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) -- Your cup of coffee just got hotter.

Hot Spot Coffee Co. -- set to open soon in Brighton Township -- will deliver customers more than just a daily dose of caffeine and a smile.

The baristas -- a collection of slim, attractive women typically in their 20s -- will wear lingerie, bikinis and other sexy outfits while serving customers their choice of beverages.

"We're really about having great coffees, noncoffee drinks and offering the kind of service that just isn't offered anymore," said Hot Spot Coffee Co. co-owner Brenda Zelda, who runs the business with her husband, Gary Zelda. She credits her husband for coming up with the idea.

"The girls love to wear outfits. We're just trying to keep things fresh and smooth and increase sales," she said.

The shop, 4608 S. Old U.S. 23 near Spencer Road and Interstate 96, represents Hot Spot Coffee Co.'s third location.

The company, which for years went by the name of Jammin' Java at its Waterford Township location, saw business double in the Oakland County community three years ago after it changed names and allowed its employees to wear sexy outfits, according to Brenda Zelda.

Business has been great at their Troy location since it opened last year, too, despite a few occasions where people voiced opinions against the business.

The Zeldas sold Terry Gill on the idea. Gill owns the property Hot Spot Coffee Co. rests on, and has seen Sandy's Coffee Shop and subsequently Bernie's Beans fail at the same location since 2003. The Zeldas began renting the property July 1.

This is different, Gill said.

"They run a tight ship; they're not floozies," Gill said. "I gave it some thought, and (the controversy) was one of my main concerns, but it's hell out there trying to make a living, and I can see their determination. These are nice gals that are friendly and do good service. If they're wearing something someone wants to look at, that's nice, but they're not doing anything Hooters isn't. I'm confident in the business."

So is Brenda Zelda. Sex sells, she said, and Hot Spot Coffee Co. is ultimately about "good, clean fun."

Plus, great coffee, of course.

"We don't get a lot of complaints," said Brenda Zelda, who has hired three local women to work at the Brighton-area location so far. "We are a business, and you have a choice of whether or not to visit us. We want customers to come, and we want them to come back."

Brighton Township Manager Dan Bishop said he didn't know much about the business, but said the township would only take issue with a business if it conflicted with law. Hot Spot Coffee Co. faced no opposition from local governing bodies in Troy and Waterford Township.

"As long as they're in compliance with our codes and ordinances, they're good to go," Bishop said.

Published: Tue, Jul 27, 2010