Fresh Meadows residents are saying ta-ta to their neighborhood rack shack after the establishment known for its busty wait staff bounced out of town last week.
Hooters emptied its 61-09 190th Street nest on Sunday, October 14, and reopened as a new brand, Bud’s Ale House. According to officials, failed year-long negotiations led corporate heads at Hooters of America to ax a franchise agreement with Strix Restaurant Group, which runs the Fresh Meadows corner eatery and three others on Long Island.
“Overall, the Hooters brand just wasn’t selling,” said Strix spokesperson Ed McCabe. “We think we have a better brand, and we didn’t find a willing cooperative partner in Hooters, who just wanted to take money and didn’t want to advertise.”
Bud’s Ale House boasts food options and drink specials similar to its predecessor, but the new food joint will feature less skin and more male staffers, said McCabe, who is hoping for a 50/50 women to men employee ratio.
“We’re not in the business of what Hooters is,” McCabe said, referring to the chain’s well-known majority female wait staff, uniformed in tight tops and skimpy shorts. “Eighty percent of people will not go into Hooters to begin with. It’s a stale brand.”
All Hooters employees were transferred over after the move and none were laid off, McCabe said. Management is currently accepting male applicants as food servers.
The Hooters in Farmingdale also transformed into Bud’s Ale House last week, while an Islandia location was rebranded to “58’s” and one in East Meadow was closed completely.
There is another Bud’s Ale House in Astoria, which opened this September, McCabe said.