Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Garden Grove’s Vietnamese coffeehouses now have until the weekend to fully comply with an ordinance that went into effect last Friday, according to the L.A. Times.

The new ordinance demands that “​Windows must be untinted. Gambling machines must be removed. Cigarettes must be tossed. And those little pasties adorning the nipples of waitresses must be replaced with something that resembles real clothing,” according to the O.C. Weekly.

“Officials say there are 37 of these coffee houses in Garden Grove. Raney told council members that the cafes have become notorious for gang activity and waitresses who wear nothing under their sheer dresses. The ordinance requires the waitresses not to expose the area of their breasts below the areola,” according to the O.C. Register.

You have to wonder if Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s husband, Tom Bonikowski, was involved in this crackdown, in his capacity as a Garden Grove Planning Commissioner.  If so, this may cost Nguyen votes in her next election.  The cafes are very popular in Little Saigon.  Click here to sift through the Garden Grove Planning Commission agendas and minutes.

If Bonikowski did lead the charge against the Viet cafes, it would be ironic since he owns a Lee’s Sandwiches franchise in Stanton that has been busted repeatedly for health code violations.

How long before Santa Ana’s Usual Suspects start complaining about our own Vietnamese Cafe, the famous Cafe Lu?  The owner of Cafe Lu, Natalie Nguyen, used to be one of the Cafe Lu girls, but she bought the place a few years ago.  Now they are doing great – and they even sell a Cafe Lu girls calendar.  You can get a glimpse of it at their website.  And you can see even more pictures on their Facebook page, by clicking here.

The pictures accompanying this post are from Cafe Lu’s Facebook page.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

16 thoughts on “Santa Ana’s Cafe Lu may benefit from Garden Grove’s crackdown on Viet cafes”
  1. So you’re ok with this adult business happening less than a block from single family homes and a block from park area? I don’t think this meets zoning laws when they are exposing so much – they belong in an M1 zone. It is not a good business for families. I am not a prude, but this needs to be located somewhere else where the patrons will not congregate. This is surely not like the arguments residents had about Buffalo Wild Wings (which were stupid).

    1. ocgrrl,

      There is a reason that the cafes were tinting their windows. Alcohol was not being served and really no one was being hurt by any of this. These were not enterprises being visited by kids or families by the way, just men.

      Please show me the crime data to back up your silly arguments. As for the gambling, I have no problem with that either. Quite frankly gambling ought to be legalized and taxed.

      1. THIS IS BUNCH OF B.S. this cafes are operating on the fringe on being a strip club. The gambling, smoking and the indecent attire on the woman. Exploiting all facets of this type of shaded business.Santa Ana should do the same, let the men go to this places with out tinted windows and all what they put up to disguise them self s. Let them be just like Star bucks. Every body can look at them. I think they would have a problem at home with their spouse and children.

        Nothing Bad going on, OPEN it UP.

        1. Indecent attire? So wait wearing a bikini at the beach automatically turns as a green light were families reside?
          “let them be just like starbucks. Everyone can look at them” That is such a stupid remark. So cars should be untinted to? to see what everyone else is doing in their car/business is non of yours and if you are having issues with your spouse going in there then its time for you to move one.

        2. they sure are!!!

          that’s one only thing the Vietnamese community know how to-do.

          If its not a nail salon its a café shop, not a coffee shop a massage parlor..etc.

          they hide their money pretty good because they ask you to pay with cash. If its a debit card they say 1.oo charge.


  2. I consider this to be an “adult business” because the girls are scantily clad, showing more than below the areola, and are dedicated to serving a male clientele. Although it opened as a restaurant, it is clear that food is not the reason men come here.

    One study the chief refers to – done in Garden Grove, Calif., in 1991 – looked at 10 years of crime statistics. “In one case, a bar opened less than 500 feet from an adult business, and serious crime within 1,000 feet of that business rose more than 300 percent the next year,” O’Loughlin wrote.

    Read more:

    1. ocgrrl,

      Yes, they go there for coffee, not food.

      And the study you referred to drew conclusions that may have been due to other factors.

      These cafes aren’t bothering anyone. This is a ridiculous witch hunt. I am surprised to see a crackdown like this on the Viet community. There should be a voter backlash. If it turns out Supervisor Nguyen is involved this will bode ill for her.

  3. About time someone took care of that place. Looks too shady and a front for high end prostitution.

  4. I don’t know, I had lunch at a greasy spoon in Fullerton/Brea area last week with “Sunny” serving us, she was hot, tight and a little flirty. Unfortunately, she won’t be around long, she is on a long term SUB assignment at a local High school as a Algebra teacher.

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