The Perky Cups coffee shop certainly turned heads when it bounced into Aurora late last year, with buxom, bikini-wearing baristas pouring hot joe and occasionally parading around the parking lot at 12101 East Iliff Avenue, advertising their wares.
That sales tactic got the store's owner, Jason Bernal, into trouble with both his landlord and Aurora City Councilwoman Molly Markert, who asked shoppers to boycott not only Perky Cups, but the businesses around it as well. Markert dialed the drama level even higher with this note in her newsletter: "When one of the [Perky Cups] employees is raped and murdered, we will all mourn the loss."
Bernal eventually closed the business on June 17 after a dispute with his landlord, vowing to reopen; on his website, perkycupscoffee.com, he said he planned two new Aurora stores — one at I-225 and Iliff and the other at 15258 East Hampden Avenue — as well as a new spot in Parker, at 17743 Cottonwood Drive.
Was it just a tease? So far, Perky Cups has not applied for a new business license in Aurora (or closed out its old license), says city spokeswoman Kathy Cable. Nor has Bernal applied to open a store in Parker, according to that town.
Bernal himself didn't return phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.
And the final word from Markert? It was short and sweet — just like a twelve-ounce "A-Cup" poured by a woman in a bikini. Here is the transcript of our e-mail interview:
Westword: [We] understand the owner is planning to open three new locations in the Aurora area and [were] hoping to ask if you are planning to use the same boycott strategy as on the last one.
Molly Markert: Thank you for your inquiry. The business was evicted for non-payment of rent; hardly a news story.
WW: Well, it certainly is a news story when a business hires women in bikinis who walk around a shopping center, and then a councilwoman organizes a boycott of that business and all the surrounding businesses. And then the owner decides to reopen not one, not two, but three new locations after being evicted from the first one. Wouldn't you think your constituents would think that was a story?
Beer bandits: Paging Burt Reynolds — your services are needed again. But instead of running a truckload of Colorado-made Coors from Texas to Georgia, you need to deliver a truckload of Colorado-made Fat Tire to the soon-to-open BLT Bar & Grill in New York.
But you can still drive a black Trans-Am.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Twenty-first-century East Coasters love them some Fat Tire, but as with Coors in the early '70s, the only way to get it is to drive a thousand miles and load up your trunk — or a truck, as Reynolds and Jerry Reed did in 1977's Smokey and the Bandit — and bootleg it past the authorities and/or Sheriff Buford T. Justice. ("What we're dealing with here is a complete lack of respect for the law.")
Last week, BLT posted a notice that it would be serving Fat Tire, sparking a blog frenzy, since the beer has cult status on the East Coast. A few days later, though, the restaurant had to disappoint the masses, admitting that it had jumped the gun. In fact, Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewery doesn't distribute beer anywhere near New York — North Carolina and Illinois are about as close as it gets — because it doesn't yet have the capacity to do so.
"My assumption is that they've run some in on their own," says New Belgium's Bryan Simpson of the unsanctioned delivery, warning that taking beer across state lines for commercial purposes can land you on the wrong side of the law (and Jackie Gleason). "My guess is that they were trying to go under the radar, and then someone wrote about it. Now it's up to the local constabulary to deal with it, and New York is serious about this stuff."