Coffee Means Something Totally Different in Los Angeles Than It Does in New York

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We knew there were some linguistic differences between New York and Los Angeles. They say "freeway," we say "highway." They wait "in line." We wait "on line." They say "cuz," we say "son." But until today, we had no idea that on the West Coast, "coffee" meant something entirely different than it means here. From this morning's "Page Six":

Turning down Owen Wilson for a date was bad for the career of a waitress at Café Habana, she claims. Monica Mateo is suing the ecofriendly Nolita eatery, claiming her hours were slashed after she rejected an offer by the "Butterscotch Stallion" to take her out for coffee, the Post's Bruce Golding reports. Mateo claims in a Manhattan federal-court filing that restaurant manager Leslie Meenan went ballistic after learning of the snub, saying: "You know what coffee means in Hollywood, right? . . . Don't screw this up."

Emphasis ours, because wait, what? What does coffee mean in Hollywood?!?! Here in New York, coffee is a drink we use to stay awake. A coffee date is least possibly significant social interaction you can have with someone. As far as power meals go, it's not even on the spectrum. It's something you do with your teenage cousins or your ex-boyfriend who's been in AA or someone you met on Craigslist who you want to make sure is not a killer. So, because we are culturally curious, we polled a few Hollywood residents to see what it meant when a man asked them to "coffee" in their city.

"In Hollywood, going to coffee has absolutely nothing to do with coffee whatsoever," said Tonya, an actress. "In L.A., 95 percent of people are 'off coffee.'"

Going to coffee, therefore, is a euphemism for something else. But what? "It might mean he's emotionally ready to take a pass at your script and potentially pass it to the creative at his company," our friend Abigail, Intel Jessica's v best friend and an actress you can see in this clip of Community told us. "In bed."

Lauren, another actress, spelled it out: "Coffee is sex," she said "As is a hike or a lunch or any one-on-one activity with a sought-after male celeb. I waitressed and bartended in L.A.for many years and was hit on by a plethora of celebrities. I heard everything from 'Can I take you to the beach?' from a famous musician to 'There are 36 chapters of the Kama Sutra, and we've already reached 9,' from a famous actor (as I handed him the lunch bill). Any date proposal, even 'coffee,' means they want to have sex with you."

As it turns out, there are further regional variations. "In West Hollywood, coffee means anal," Abigail said.

Nancy Balbirer, the author of Take Your Shirt Off and Cry, a memoir of living in Hollywood, declined to detail what "getting coffee" meant, saying that it was too dirty. But, she said of the "Page Six" item: "The good news is, we now know what 'restaurant manager' means in New York. At least a pimp in Hollywood will buy you shoes."

Eatery sued over Owen Wilson snub [Page Six/NYP]