by Kyle Swenson
Of all the ideas people kick around for drumming up this potential business, this probably isn't the first time a “sexy” coffee shop has been floated. But down in Youngstown, Eileen Benedict was planning on shocking the city's sensibilities with Hot Contents Coffee and Comforts. Her concept was of a coffee joint staffed by scantily clad ladies, because there's nothing people like more with their double tall than T&A.
However, the dream might actually fail to jump from the drawing board. Benedict is now in a dog fight with her landlord, which, depending on who you believe, is either over simple business matters or an attempt to clamp down on the skin-show. The whole situation came to a head with a protest against the landlord. A three-person protest. So, we're not talking Berkley sit-ins level of social upheaval, but a protest nonetheless.
The Vindicator has the details. Benedict originally signed a letter of intent in December with the building's owner, Tom Shutrump. When it came time to ink the actual lease, Benedict says the landlord passed along documents that would allow for no exposed skin below the neck or above the knees, a provision that would pretty much stick a knife in the whole sexy-time schtick.
Not so, says Shutrump's attorney. “The simple truth is that the landlord and the tenant were not able to arrive at a lease agreement,” attorney Steve Garea tells the paper. “It appears that the tenant is trying to use the press to an advantage. A lease was presented and reviewed, and we requested any changes or amendments that the tenant would like and we have not heard back.”
The paper got their hands on the document, which does include language that seems to prohibit provocative clothing. But the landlord's rep says Benedict never tried to negotiate.