RALEIGH — Amy Carrieris black hair dangles down to her zebra-print brassiere, not quite covering the cherry blossom tattoo on her lower back.
Its lingerie day at Cup O Jane, and Carrieri is burning customers eyelids with a pair of booty shorts and thigh-high fishnet stockings.
On some days, she might choose a bikini, or a pair of Daisy Dukes, or a French maid uniform. You might pull up to the window to find her in latex, navel brazenly exposed.
Theres also coffee at Cup O Jane. Its pretty good, if you can remember that you ordered it.
Sexiness, purred Carrieri, 37. Why not stir Raleigh up a little bit? Something different. They need it.
Cup O Jane represents the newest and most racy outgrowth of the food truck movement a coffee-slinging trailer parked on an otherwise bleak stretch of Capital Boulevard, a landscape populated by storage units and used cars.
Carrieri and her co-owner husband, Blair, a bodyguard, chose this method of delivery because it required jumping through far fewer hoops than a heated and air-conditioned building with parking and restrooms.
Scantily dressed, warmed by a space heater, Carrieri and barista Ashlee Pack deliver lattes, espresso and chai tea in bra-sized cups: A to DD. Their motto: The cup that gets you up. Its definitely not Dennys.
Carrieri knows the backlash will come some soon, either in conservative Christian or feminist form. But shes been a dancer at The Mens Club, and shes got a wardrobe that overflows out of her closets and into her drawers. She owns 103 pairs of shoes. Shes going to celebrate the combination of skimpy clothing and curving flesh whether you like it or not.
Society says youre not supposed to see girls in lingerie, says Carrieri, her smile as wide as a movie screen. But if you live in an apartment complex, if you live at the beach, you see a bikini. So where is the line? This is how we were all brought into this world.
Whether you shudder at the idea of nearly naked coffee servers or thank the stars theyve finally arrived, theres no question that Carrieri and Pack have draped a frilly panty over Raleighs buttoned-down collar.
I call them spankies, said Pack, 18, referring to the tight undergarments. We wore them for cheerleading.
Its the smile
Theres no mirrored window here. Cup O Jane isnt tucked back in some industrial zone, or out by the airport. Half of downtown Raleigh passes Carrieri each morning. If she dropped a hanky out the walk-up window, it might blow onto the windshield of a passing commuters car. She could almost lob a coffee bean to the roof of the legislature.
Without any advertising, theyre doing all right after a few months on Capital, building a crowd of regulars.
What they come to see, its not just coffee, she said. Its the smile.
Make them feel special, Pack agreed.
We have a lady that comes here, and shes one of our regulars, Carrieri said. Obviously, she likes us. But she will not look up. She kind of looks at the ground and hands us the money. The guys, they come and theyre jaw-dropped. I think some of them even drool.
With a little success, Cup O Jane might expand, even deliver, maybe even deliver on bicycles. Theyre betting that the city, busy cutting budgets and scanning want ads, wants to loosen its tie and smile at a pretty girl.
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