Hooters to reopen in Fresh Meadows


| mchan@queenscourier.com |

File photo
File photo

Restaurant owner Marc Phaneuf plans to bring Hooters back to Fresh Meadows this summer.

Fresh Meadows will soon get its second helping of Hooters, but one where the busty wait staff might be clad in a new getup.

The once popular neighborhood rack shack at 61-09 190th Street will reopen later this summer as a new franchise under Marc Phaneuf.

Officials said the establishment closed last October after Hooters of America axed a franchise agreement with Strix Restaurant Group, which ran the Fresh Meadows restaurant and three others on Long Island.

Phaneuf said the dispute, and not a lack of business, caused the restaurant to close.

“That actual location did a wonderful amount of business, a great amount,” he said. “They were very successful at that location.”

Strix then rebranded the eatery Bud’s Ale House. The staff included more men — and less revealing outfits — in the hopes of attracting more customers.

But the ale house went flat several months later, eventually closing in April.

Now Phaneuf is shelling out more than $1 million to redo the restaurant before its slated late August grand opening.

“We’re bringing it up to the latest and greatest version of Hooters,” he said, adding that the original Hooters in Fresh Meadows opened in 2009. “Every restaurant concept goes through changes. The decor, times change.”

That could mean a slightly new uniform for the eatery’s Hooters girls, though nothing has been decided yet.

The staff’s tight white tops are likely to remain untouched. But their bright orange skimpy bottoms could be swapped for skirts with hidden shorts under them, similar to those worn by cheerleaders, Phaneuf said.

“It’s all about evolution in the restaurant industry,” he said. “Hooters of America is looking at new uniforms. Fresh Meadows just might be, because of its location and proximity to New York City, where they may be rolling out the new uniforms.”

Phaneuf, who operates Hooters restaurants in Farmingdale, Albany and five locations in New England, said diners can also expect three times as many televisions, including some 90-inch sets.

“That location will be the premiere location to watch sports in the Fresh Meadows market,” he said.

The new franchisee also plans to hire about 100 staffers and put higher quality, healthier food items on the menu.

 

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