City of Everett seizes bikini barista stands, to put them up for sale

EVERETT -- Bikini barista stands linked to a prostitution bust are now city property. Everett officials sent out notices evicting the operators of five coffee stands in Snohomish County.

In the letters, the city asked the businesses to surrender the stands by Wednesday.

“You know customers don't go there for the coffee. There is some extra stuff, extra show," said Carlos Diaz, who works nearby at a tire shop.

Diaz said the coffee stand next to his shop on Highway 99 closed sometime last week. Several others remain open down the street.

"Our goal is to sell these stands to responsible owners who will prevent illegal activity from occurring at the stands," said Everett spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke.

According to the city, the owner of the coffee stands, Carmela Panico, forfeited the properties after she admitted to running a prostitution operation through the businesses.  As part of her guilty plea, the stands now belong to the city, said Pembroke.

The city determined the operators did not have valid lease agreements for the stands.

The city estimates each coffee stand is worth $3,000 to $8,000.

The City Council will meet Wednesday to discuss plans to fast-track the sale of the stands. Pembroke said several people are interested in purchasing the coffee huts.

“A better coffee shop, you know, something that’s better business.  It gives a better impression to the community,” said Diaz.

Later this year, the city will consider new rules for coffee stands operating in Everett.