Bellevue shuts down Knotty Bodies' drive-through lane

Bellevue shuts down Knotty Bodies' drive-through lane
BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Just days after it opened, the scantily-clad baristas at Knotty Bodies in Bellevue is getting some steam from city officials.

On Tuesday, city officials said they planned to shut down the business because it is not complying with city codes.

Code enforcement officers delivered two cease-and-desist orders. One said the stand's curb-side ad is in violation of the city's sign ordinance, and the other ordered the stand to close until the owner builds barriers around the drive-through lane.

"They told us if we continue to serve today, there is a $100 fine," said one barista.

The baristas appeared unaffected by the warning, however, as they continued to serve customers using the drive-through lane.

Just after 5 p.m., code enforcement officers returned to the stand and put up orange cones around the drive-through lane at the stand, effectively shutting it down.

Late Tuesday afternoon Shannon Kraft, an attorney representing Knotty Bodies, said the business had reached an agreement with the city.

"The business is going to stay open just without drive-through access until we're able to get that issue sorted out," she said.

Owner Lisa Caughron said two business operated a drive through at the same stand for years before Knotty Bodies took over.

"The drive-through espresso sign that we have is the sign from the old owners," she said. "So I don't understand how there's even a possibility that can't be a drive through location."

"We believed at he time we opened at the stand, that the drive-through access as it exists was completely appropriate," said Kraft. "But evidently the city thinks differently. So we need to do some investigation and we need to do some work."

The coffee stand has been a point of contention since it opened over the weekend in the parking lot of a Chevron station on NE 8th Street near a park.

On Monday night, area residents packed a City Council meeting to complain and demand that the city do something about the stand.

At the meeting, Deputy Mayor Claudia Balducci appeared to sympathize with those voicing complaints and she went so far as to suggest shaming customers by taking pictures of them and then posting the photos online.

"We've all got cell phone things. Anybody who doesn't want a picture of themselves being taken there buying coffee from a woman in a bikini and seeing it on the Internet -- that's a risk that you might be taking if you go to this place," she said.

Many Bellevue residents, though, want permanent changes to ordinances and zoning codes to prevent the sight of skimpy servers.

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