Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bikini car wash debuts in Tarpon Springs

Stacey Barlow dries a car at the Bubble Bee Wash & Lube on U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs. The carwash is trying to drum up some extra business by having bikini day twice a week. The response Thursday was good.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Stacey Barlow dries a car at the Bubble Bee Wash & Lube on U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs. The carwash is trying to drum up some extra business by having bikini day twice a week. The response Thursday was good.

TARPON SPRINGS — As James Brown stood in front of the Bubble Bee Wash & Lube, his blue Ford F-250 truck emerged from its cleaning. Within seconds, four women, all wearing bikini tops and each carrying two towels, walked toward the vehicle.

One climbed into the truck's bed.

The others positioned themselves along the sides and front.

Then, almost simultaneously, each began drying it.

Not far away, Brown, 41, of Palm Harbor enjoyed the show.

"It's awesome," he said. "What better thing can there be than getting your car washed by beautiful women?"

Thursday was the inaugural bikini day at the Bubble Bee, which is just south of Tarpon Avenue on U.S. 19. The initiative was hatched by Rachel Sarkis, whose husband is part owner, in an effort to spark business at a time when growth for most is difficult to achieve.

"I think it's a good idea," said Sarkis, 25, of Tarpon Springs. "Anything we can do to give us a little bit of an edge. If a guy has a choice, he's going to want to be around girls. It's really not anything different than WingHouse."

To find employees, Sarkis posted an ad online using Craigslist. In it, she wrote: "We need energetic and attractive people!" Those interested were asked to submit a photo and a resume.

More than a dozen people inquired about a position. From that pool, five women, ranging in age from 18 to 23, were picked. The job, which includes greeting customers and later drying their vehicles, pays $7.25 an hour plus tips. Thursday, the women wore regular, everyday shorts with their swimsuit tops.

"I think it's cool," said one of the bikini washers, Stacey Barlow.

Barlow, 18, of St. Petersburg said she took the job more to get out of the house than for the money. But the St. Petersburg College student said she hoped to make at least $50 a day in tips alone.

"I'm doing something that's fun," Barlow said. "And it's hard to find a fun job."

For now, Bubble Bee will have bikini days twice a week (Thursday and Friday). If the response is strong, they might occur more often. And so far, it has been.

As of 1 p.m. Thursday (hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Sarkis said there had been about a 15 percent increase in customers over a typical weekday.

Count Brown among those who wouldn't mind seeing bikini day become a permanent fixture.

"I've already texted five of my buddies," he said.

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at kniebuhr@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4156.

Bikini car wash debuts in Tarpon Springs 04/23/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 24, 2009 9:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.