Smarty Catz tries bikini lunches

While I appreciate the entrepreneurial chutzpah, and wish them all the best, I’m not confident that putting the Smarty Catz waitstaff in bikinis will bring in a booming lunch crowd… Here’s a clip from iSpy:

…Because the bar hasn’t been attracting as many customers for lunch as he would like, Smarty Catz has been offering “bikini lunches” during weekdays. Cane said the female waitstaff wear bikinis to attract customers during lunch hours on business days. The rest of the time waitstaff are fully dressed as not to detract from women showing up to the bar…

Here’s hoping this doesn’t spread too far. While I love Danny and the guys working the grill at Haab’s, right around the corner from Smarty Catz, I don’t want to see them strutting around in thongs anytime soon.

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  1. Posted July 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    This kind of thing bothers me for reasons I’m not sure I can articulate. I would really hate to think that one day, my female students may only be valued (or not) because they look good in a bikini (or not). Why do women need male validation so badly? I doubt that we’ll see men in thongs (I know you were being facetious) any time soon, both because women aren’t demanding it and I don’t think men will do it. Or is this just all in good fun and nothing to worry about?

    As a father of a daughter Mark, what do you think? Good fun or a larger issue?

  2. Posted July 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    As someone who believes quite strongly in civil rights, I think that grown adults, with a few exceptions, should be allowed to do what they want, as long as they aren’t being coerced to do so, and as long as no one gets hurt. With that said, though, I’m in complete agreement with you. I would not want my daughter, or anyone else I cared about, male or female, to be in a position where they were valued only because others found them sexually appealing. So, I guess you could say that I’m conflicted.

  3. Dirtgrain
    Posted July 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    I wonder: if they are wearing bikinis, then is there a higher chance that you might find pubes on your plate? Blech!

  4. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted July 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    It worked for Hooters, and the I bet beer is way cheaper at Smarty Catz. (I’ve never been to a hooters, but I’ve had drinks at Smarty Catz a couple times) Let’s just hope they don’t try jello wrestling, like that place in Milan.

  5. Bob
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Since when is it about women needing validation? I suspect they need the money. And really, it’s one of the oldest business tactics of all time. As American as apple pie. Kind of quaint actually. I probably won’t go either way. That section of town has some of the darkest, most claustrophobic storefronts around.

  6. Knox
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I think you and I are from an earlier time, Dirtgrain. Women today no longer have pubic hair. It apparently no longer served a purpose. Such is the way with evolution.

  7. Peter Larson
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Who cares? What, are you turning into some southern moralist in your old age?

  8. Ted
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Pete, this isn’t about moralizing. It’s about saving lives. You’ve never seen the ladies at Smartie Pants.

    Thank you for the warning, Mark.

  9. Posted July 22, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Bob, that’s probably true. In that case, I find it interesting that so much money can be made…unless things have changed since last I wrote a paper about it in law school, the only areas where women outearn men is in porn and prostitution.

    Mark, thank you! You totally said it way better than I could…I know they aren’t being coerced (like being sex trafficked or whatever) but there may be a woman or two or more who really don’t want to do this and can’t quit the job for whatever reason.

    Hey Andy Ypsilanti–what’s this about Hooters and half dressed women? My husband says he just goes there for the wings! ;)

  10. Peter Larson
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Yes, I would be frightened to eat lunch there. I think that it might repel more customers than it brings in.

    In the end, Mark has nothing to worry and his endless moralizing about the sexual objectification of women likely will not apply in his case. He has a conscientious, educated middle class family and will likely spare his daughter having to work at Smarty Pantz merely by writing checks to put his daughter through college.

    Personally, I don’t find the sexual objectification of women nor bikini lunches disturbing at all. There are plenty of female analogues for male lust. What is disturbing to me is that we have such an unequal society that people would be forced to work there at all, bikini or no. Granted, some individuals may like the work and that’s their choice.

  11. Edward
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I’m the real victim here. My boss won’t let me wear a bikini at work… Talk about sexism.

  12. Robert
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I can’t go to the beach anymore without seeing women in bikinis everywhere. It’s so degrading.

  13. 2cents
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I was looking forward to a new hang out in town, but I don’t like this at all. I won’t be stopping in any time soon.

  14. Posted July 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Clearly, many of your readers are up on their feminist theory.

    I’d also like a little clarification: what is coercion? Does it stop at physical force or bribery?

  15. Fred
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    My guess is that the waitstaff was hired in before this decision to go bikini. If that’s the case, one wonders if they had a choice. Were they able to say no?

  16. kjc
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


  17. Andy C
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    They serve lunch? Is there a menu in the window? Did they advertise this? I thought it was just an evening sports bar. Maybe a sandwich board out front advertising this, like the Wolverine Grill does. Have about a staff member in a bikini out side with a sandwich board advertising they do lunch. I joke.

    How much is a cup of coffee? Can I pay a dollar to watch the ladies walk around in bikinis? As for eating, a waitresses in bikini’s seems very unappetizing. Even Hooters knows not to take it that far. Seeing these guys came from a Hooters background, they should know better.

    With ye olde Elbow Room and ye olde Screamin’ Eagle closed, they have a good opportunity to build clientele. I’m pretty sure both those location will be up and running in the next month and the window will close.

  18. Edward
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Why not be the first city in America to attempt a downtown-wide Hooterfication? We could Hooterfy everything, from top to bottom. And, if that doesn’t work, we could fire up the bikini machine.

  19. Ted
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Those bars you mention could have been reopened already, Andy, if we just had some people with gumption in this town. What we need is a guy like this.

    Maybe we can recruit him once he’s out of jail.

  20. Andy C
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I talked to the new Elbow Room guys a while back and I guess when it changes owner, they have to go thru inspection etc again. Looked in there last night. Looks close to being done. I hope they keep the tables, they were planning on getting rid of them to fit more people.

  21. Posted July 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    I love that story, Ted. It’s beautiful. I don’t just love how ballsy this guy was, in taking over a closed bar and opening it back up for business, without a license, and without telling the owner of the place. I love that he opened a bar with just a six pack, and grew it from there. In four days, it looks like he’d stocked an entire bar, from that one six pack. That’s lovely. That’s the way that every bar should open. It should be organic like that.

  22. Posted July 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    And “fuck yeah” to the idea of building a bikini machine here in Ypsi. I’m confident, if we can attract the right scientists, we can have this thing up and running by next spring.

  23. Posted July 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    As for me being a southern moralist, I don’t think I get enough ass to qualify. It’s been my experience that moralists gets tons of ass.

  24. Robert
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    How is this more exploitive than Mark paying people twenty bucks to get tatoos of him on the backs fo their heads?

  25. Mr. X
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    That would be a great point, Robert, if it were true. To my knowledge Mark has never paid anyone to get tattoos of him.

  26. Stephen
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    What we really need is a coffee shop with topless Tuesdays.

  27. Posted July 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    We follow you and wanted to request permission to reprint the Smarty Katz blog in Lake Living Magazine. -Your Friends down the stream

  28. SF dog
    Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know if this is still happening?

  29. Annoyed customer
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I know they do karaoke there now and it’s god awful. They seem to have a group of drunken teen regulars there that are fed alcohol and then sing badly. One very large (overweight) man was buying drinks for the obviously underage girls there and the bartender knew and approved. I know my hometown is a “party town” but this is unacceptable (not to mention illegal) Is this what Ypsi has become?

  30. kjc
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    go somewhere else, annoyed customer. last time i went to smarty katz with a big group, we all got ripped off big time and it’s standard practice there. that place is SHADY.

  31. gary
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Smarty Katz is a great place. It’s the easiest place in town to get laid.

  32. Ypsi Lover
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I Love Smarty Katz.

  33. Chairman Meow
    Posted March 17, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Easier than Luwak?

  34. Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Was it a Wednesday? They may have just looked like underage girls.

    As for easy places to get laid, I’d recommend in front of Arthur’s at about midnight.

  35. Posted March 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    And let’s have a meet-up at Smarty Pantz sometime, OK? We’ll start by getting your money back, JKC. And then we’ll all act like young girls and get free drink. And we’ll end the night by all getting laid. It’ll be a blast.

  36. Hazard
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    I’m partial to their thong brunch.

  37. Ethel Carette
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    I’ve never tried their bikini lunch, but their thong brunch is divine.

  38. Carroll
    Posted April 19, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Are they still doing this? If so, would anyone be interested in checking it out with me?

  39. mickey
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Tip size is a function of sexual attraction enhanced by the beauty quotient and a logrithmic factor of bill size and delivery efficiency. The wait staff’s need for money will therefore influence their choice about what to wear.

One Trackback

  1. By Ypsi/Arbor Exit Interview: Johnny Lupinacci on August 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    […] the Thomas Blondi Salon and the Brite Idea Tattoo shop. The drawback to being on that block was Smarty Catz, which was awful to live above, and to have to come home to all the time. Someone should take that […]

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