So far, Danica Lemcke hasn't heard many complaints about her frilly white bustier. Just a few women who don't approve of her tamping espresso and steaming milk on Russell Street with so much skin showing have voiced concern.
The guys? Well, they love it.
"Usually, the reaction is, 'Wow,'" says Lemcke, 19.
Missoula's coffee scene got a lot steamier this week, when the lingerie-clad women of Ooh La Latte joined the ranks of local drive-through baristas. The company's slogan says it all: "Where our servers are even hotter than our drinks." Trust us, this isn't your grandma's tea shack. And if it is, your grandma's a cougar.
"This isn't G-strings and pasties kind of stuff," says Ooh La Latte co-owner Tim Wilson. "It's high-class, expensive lingerie that's very tasteful. We've been very careful to ensure it's done very tastefully."
Ooh La Latte follows in the footsteps of a rapidly growing trend in the Seattle area, where chains of coffee kiosks have turned up the heat by showcasing baristas in almost nothing. Of course, the stands have prompted strings of indecency complaints, but Wilson has no such fears for the Missoula market. He and his partners came up with the plan in October, and already have a second location staked out near the Harley Davidson dealership on Airway Boulevard.
"We're looking to expand," Wilson says. "Our target is to have about eight of them in Montana over the next few years."
Early indications say the business will do just fine. Lacey Wisdom, 23, says she had roughly 40 cars drive up by early afternoon on Tuesday. Maybe it was the specialty drinks—Cha Cha Chai, Afternoon Delight, etc.—or maybe it was Wisdom's revealing black-and-white maid outfit. Part of her hopes it was the latter. After all, she and Lemcke are used to the attention.
"We both worked at Hooters," Wisdom says, adding that drivers have been rubbernecking all morning. "It's essentially the same thing."