A new entrepreneurial endeavour on Kamloops’ North Shore will feature wait staff clad in bikinis.
The Teenie Bikini Bistro will open in place of the now closed Salajai Thai Restaurant at 542 Tranquille Ave. Its doors are set to open on May 25.
Details of the restaurant were revealed to KTW by co-owner Leeanne McArthur, who is working with business partner Monique Workman.
“It’s like a Hooters, except the girls are in bikinis instead,” McArthur said.
The restaurant plans to hire 10 wait staff and six kitchen workers. Two cooks are already set — both staying on from Salajai — while three waitresses have been hired and interviews for more are underway.
The two took possession of the restaurant on Tuesday, but renovations started prior to that with the co-operation of the former owners.
McArthur said there’s “not much” to do inside because the last business was so well kept.
“We’re pretty much just painting and adding our own stuff to it,” she said.
The bistro’s menu will serve pub-style food and the restaurant is licensed to serve alcohol.
McArthur lived in Kamloops in her teenage years and is returning to be closer to family. She and Workman previously owned a hair salon in Edmonton.
The restaurant business is new to both of them, but the concept behind the bistro is something McArthur has seen succeed before, and she hopes to mirror that success.
That success comes from the likes of the so-called bikini baristas, which have done well in Seattle and other locations in the United States.
She said that here, there’s nothing like the bikini bistro and she’s confident it will succeed.
“For sure it will. I just know,” she said.
Although she does anticipate some pushback over the outfits and she’s not sure how she will handle it just yet.
“It’s obviously going to come from the women. I’m hoping the women aren’t going to feel like they can’t come here and enjoy themselves. I want them to be here and to be comfortable. It’s going to be a good atmosphere,” she said.
As for potential problem customers, McArthur said she’d seek the support of her two cooks.
“They’re big boys,” she said.
But as for men at front of house, McArthur said she’s hoping the bikini part of the concept will keep them from applying.
“I hope to god no man comes in and wants a job — and if they do, then we’re going to have a special night for that,” she said, laughing.