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Garden Grove gives Vietnamese coffeehouses a one-week grace period to comply with law

June 28, 2011 |  7:00 pm

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

Passed by the City Council in May, the ordinance bans nudity, smoking, dark window tint and arcade-style machines that police say can be turned into gambling devices.

The move came after police raided more than 20 of these coffeehouses and seized 186 arcade machines. In one location alone, police confiscated more than $35,000 in suspected gambling profits. The shops also had gained notoriety because many of the waitresses wore skimpy lingerie -- and sometimes less.

Last week, police hand-delivered letters about the new law in Vietnamese and English to each cafe in the city.

Lt. Ben Stauffer, with the Garden Grove community policing bureau, said officials are trying to give the cafes at least a week to eradicate the machines from the shops.

"We’re trying to be understanding," he said.

Stauffer did not give specifics on how the ordinance would be enforced, but said that police could issue a $1,000 citation for having the arcade machines inside the shops.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz