Skimpy servers risk arrest

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An illustration of a pair of very sexy woman's legs wearing a pair of black fishnet hose and a pair of black open toes pump.Local hot spots are hiding a scantily-clad secret — nearly nude waitresses who offer service with little more than a smile and it could land them in jail.

Lingerie cafes are hidden fixtures in Southern California. Often found in dilapidated strip malls, these cafes serve a male clientele with waitresses strutting around in revealing outfits, sometimes even in the nude, serving tea and iced drinks.

“It’s just like any other job except you’re naked” said a topless waitress who did not want to be identified. “I’ve worked at a grocery store and I felt like I got the same treatment, but the pay is just better.”

Men sit around tables, smoking cigarettes and playing cards while contemporary American and Vietnamese pop music blares in the background.

The clientele is mostly older Asian men with the odd teenager, but the women are what make men pay $6 for a cup of coffee. “I bring guys in here during business meetings, and we have a good time. It’s just a place to chill,” says one male client. “The illegal stuff doesn’t really bother any of us.”

These cafes have been under the thumb of local law enforcement recently.

“I haven’t been arrested, but I’ve been cited twice,” said waitress Vicki Tran of Café Gz. Tran dresses in a sheer white bikini top with a matching thong. “Cops have gone in here and arrested girls before. They were still topless and didn’t allow them to cover up,” Tran added.

This under-the-table nudity means extra pressure on the girls to remain vigilant. Their eyes scan doors, watching for cops and covering up their breasts when they believe someone is suspicious. “It’s dangerous, but it’s fast money,” said another waitress.

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Waitresses get paid upwards of $14 dollars an hour, more if they are willing to display body paint. “It’s easy to get lost in the money,” Tran said. “I’ve seen good girls get sucked in, piss all their money away, and just be trapped in the lifestyle.”

Smoking, gambling and nudity aren’t the only illegal activities.

“I’ve seen the cops come in and bring guns out” said a Subway manager by Café Miss Cutie on Harbor and Westminster. “The music is loud and it may drive away business.”

All these activities have led neighbors to complain.

In Garden Grove, the city council voted in ordinances banning smoking indoors and dark tinted windows.


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