Low-cut tops and the to-go coffee place’s logo, a silver lady, similar to one found on a semi-truck’s mudflap, draw attention. So do the names and drink sizes.
Hot Cups, a drive-through coffee shop at 1218 Brady St., Davenport opened Monday, advertising “come for the coffee, stay for the cups.”
The drinks, like Luscious Lattes and Curvy Cappuccinos, come in A, B or C cup sizes. The tongue-in-cheek attitude doesn’t mean owners Ronda Carpenter and Stephanie Goettsch aren’t serious about their business.
“We don’t want to be a trashy establishment,” Carpenter said. “You have to put your own twist on things — make it interesting.”
The women are flirting with what their business hours will be. They are now open 4 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but opening time will likely move to 5 a.m.
Carpenter said she’s had the idea for a while, noting that similar coffee places staffed by bikini-clad women can be found on the East and West coasts, but she thinks this is the only one like it in the Midwest.
She doesn’t think winter will be a problem, saying the drink equipment keeps the little shop warm, and the service windows will be open only briefly.
“You can handle it for a couple of seconds, at least,” Carpenter said.
Scott Tunnicliff, director of the Hilltop Campus Village, worked with Carpenter on getting a business license. He likes that a vacant storefront, shuttered for at least two and a half years, is no longer empty. He appreciates the women’s marketing approach.
“Coffee is coffee is coffee to so many folks,” he said. “This time around they have found a way to brand a product.
“We’re very pleased to have entrepreneurs pursuing this area.”
Along with businesses such as cafes, a health food store and bars, Hot Cups shares a three-block stretch with a pair of churches — Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 121 E. 12th St., and St. John’s United Methodist, 109 E. 14th St.
The churches’ new neighbor has so far flown under the radar. Trinity’s interim dean, the Rev. Judith Dalmasso, said Tuesday she wasn’t aware of the business and hadn’t heard any comments about it.
Carpenter said the neighbors they’ve heard from have been supportive. She and Goettsch have plans to repaint the building from its yellow, orange and blue to black and silver to match the sign along Brady Street.
The women worked in family businesses before branching out, Carpenter said.
“We want to venture out on our own,” she said.