Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
Soak up the solid surroundings before perusing the equally solid menu. Start the feastivities with three mini sirloin sliders ($8), house-cut garlic and parsley fries ($5 for small), and a fighting pint of Stone Brewing Co.'s Arrogant Bastard ($5). Those with an itching appetite can dive straight into larger bites. Equip yourself with a house sirloin burger ($11) or order of chicken and biscuits ($16).
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