Hooters is coming to downtown Manhattan and is set to open its second location at 155 West 33rd Street. This time, they are doing it in a manner that is more shall we say, socially acceptable.
The place is again getting its life back since midtown Manhattan lost one of the last remnants of its steamy past two years ago. At that time, the nude booth and adult store Peep World closed down at Penn Station.
But still, sexy waitresses are the main components of Hooters when it opens its second location. The former place of Peep World has been cleared up of all its previous vestiges. Its structure has undergone a complete makeover.
To date, Hooters public relations staff says that the store’s opening is just about four weeks away. There are still two liquor licenses that are still to be released by the State Liquor Authority.
Hooters was only able to push through with its plan to take over the old premises of Peep World two years ago in the month of August, when its negotiations with the owners of Overlook Lounge did not push through.
The delay seemed only to heighten the excitement which makes the end result better. Hooters owners hope that the new Midtown establishment will be a gratifying one for those who were willing to wait.
With the sealing of the deal, the wings-n-breasts restaurant has a new location that boasts of “a great view of Madison Square Garden” according to their press release. Although the place may not offer as fantastic a view as their PR suggests, visitors of this new Hooters spot will get an eyeful of what they are really looking for.
Some few years back, Hooters closed four locations when a franchise agreement encountered some problems resulting in projected plans for Park Slope and Coney Island to be discontinued.
The new place is better situated than the original Hooters located in a space above a parking lot on West 56th Street, about a block away from Carnegie Hall. This new Hooters is better even amidst the craziness surrounding the MSG, where there are legions of sports fans which usually load up on all the items they need before going into a Knicks game.
Soon, only this Midtown restaurant will be serving diners those delicious wings in New York. Canz, a competitor, is luring those that are not hired by Hooters to give the joint a second look instead of being left out in the cold.
Previously, several Hooters franchisees rescinded their contracts. For instance, a restaurant operator, Strix owned a Hooters franchise, but because of certain money problems, got out of the contract. “It’s like… a marriage that’s gone bad,” says a Strix lawyer.
“We couldn’t make money as a Hooters and we have to move on,” the lawyer added. The real reasons are quite unclear but Hooters claims that the franchisees were messing with the brand. Hooters terminated Strix’s franchise early this month because of what it claims as non-compliance by the franchisee.
Actually, Strix owned three Hooters on Long Island as well as one Hooters location in Fresh Meadows, Queens. Now, Strix is renaming the Queens and another one in Farmingdale as Bud’s Ale House. The former Islandia Hooters will be renamed 58’s probably because it is very near the LIE’s Exit 58. Strix will also close the East Meadow location.
The three locations will remain open during the changeover and according to the company; these three restaurants will be manned by the existing staff, with the addition of male servers. If some of the Hooters girls are not agreeable to the switch, Strix’s owner is putting out a release and promises them work elsewhere.
Considering these latest developments, the sudden foray of Hooters in Park Slope and Coney Island is making a lot of sense. They need to recoup their lost ground somewhere they are appreciated.
Meanwhile, Hooters fans in Long Island need not worry. The chief executive of Hooters America has given some assurances that they will not leave them high and dry.
“New York is a vibrant market for Hooters, and in addition to the Manhattan and Yonkers locations slated to open next year, HOA is finalizing a development agreement with an existing franchisee to open five locations in the Long Island area,” the executive said.
The customers of Peep World also need not be discouraged with the closing of the shop. If they will patronize the new Hooters in its place, they will still be able to gawk at live, voluptuous ladies – although now they will be wearing clothes, albeit barely at that.
One potential customer gave an unsolicited advice: “I’d go to a Hooters while I wait for the bus,” he says. “They’ve got good wings. I’d go for the wings,” he enthused.