New Business

Goodyear residents react to planned Bikini Beans location

Valley-based coffee company is known for scantily-clad baristas and a 2020 lawsuit alleging wage theft

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The city of Goodyear announced that famed local “sexpresso” coffee chain, Bikini Beans is building a new location at 1690 N. PebbleCreek Parkway — and residents shared mixed opinions on social media.

Bikini Beans is a Valley-based coffee chain with a drive-through-only model, similar to Dutch Bros. except its employees are dressed in — you guessed it — bikinis as they serve you your black iced tea or “naughty chai” latte.

While the city’s Facebook post notes that construction is still underway, some residents took the opportunity to express disappointment that the salacious establishment is being built in close proximity to several other competing businesses — or that it’s coming to Goodyear at all.

The post published June 26 on Goodyear's official page racked up nearly 150 comments and hundreds of reactions, many either complaining about the new business, or commenters poking fun at the complainers.

“Because the families of Goodyear need this kind of attraction,” one user commented sarcastically. “So sad for our west valley (cities).”

That comment garnered over a dozen laugh reactions.

“Women in bikinis isn’t anything shameful,” another commenter wrote in response. “Stop acting like this has any effect on you.”

Others commented that they wished instead to see other types of business open up in Goodyear, like AJ’s, Trader Joe’s and Ikea.

“For real, another coffee shop feet away from Starbucks,” one user commented. “Is this the best you can do Goodyear, c’mon!!!!”

Bikini Beans’ first Goodyear location will be located just 0.2 miles from a Starbucks.

Others defended the shop and its owners, married couple Regina and Benjamin Lyles.

“I hate everything the cities of Goodyear and Litchfield are doing to our community. BUT, the family who owns Bikini Beans are sweet people, and West siders, so I’m happy to support!” one user wrote before adding, “And there are plenty of Dbag husbands around here to keep this place in business for a long time!”

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Bikini Beans Coffee (@bikinibeanstempeaz)

The Lyles' opened their first Bikini Beans location in mid-town Phoenix in 2014. Since then, they’ve expanded to four locations in Tempe, Mesa and Peoria. They serve hot and iced drinks, smoothies, Italian sodas and shakes. Instead of small, medium and large, menus list drink sizes as A-Cup, B-Cup and C-Cup–A being small and C being large, of course.

The company’s Instagram page is filled with what appears to be exclusively female baristas in swimwear and black converse, some holding a coffee, some lounging on the chain’s orange outdoor picnic benches.

But girls in bikinis aren’t the only skimpy thing Bikini Beans is known for.

The Lyles' came under fire in 2020 after 139 current and former employees filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the owners of wage theft.

Valley media outlets, including the Phoenix New Times, reported in 2020 that former employees had said they were frequently subject to verbal abuse when failing to properly greet store owners or customers, and described how the Lyles' would take their tips for the day if they were even a few minutes late for work.

In court, employees alleged the Lyles' “failed to properly compensate them” and engaged in “improper tip credit notice, improper withholding of tips, improper required reimbursements, improper deductions from paychecks, and improper off the clock work,” according to court documents filed with the federal Arizona District Court.

The parties reached a settlement in 2021, and the Lyles' agreed to shell out $150,000, but denied “any liability” for unpaid wages.

Madeline Ackley Salazar can be reached at mackley@iniusa.org or found on Twitter @Mkayackley. 

Bikini Beans, Ben Lyles, Regina Lyles, Goodyear, city of Goodyear, development

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