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Two national restaurant chains will be opening in Coney Island next year, and a real estate insider hinted that one could be a Hooters.
The owner of a vacant Surf Avenue lot next to the Stillwell Avenue station will erect a two-story building that broker Joe Vitacco said will house two popular restaurant chains.
Vitacco refused to name the eatery that he claims has already leased the first floor, but wouldn’t stop singing the praises of the “delightfully tacky yet unrefined” beer-and-babes chain.
“Hooters is an ideal fit for Coney Island,” Vitacco said. “It’s a sure winner: you’ve got the stadium there, you’ve got the beach, you’ve got the amusement park. They would get tons of customers.”
Hooters, famous for its chicken wings — among other things — has restaurants in Manhattan and Queens, but have yet to venture into the Borough of Churches.
A Hooters spokesman said the restaurant chain currently has no plans to open in Brooklyn, but supported the idea of opening up a borough franchise in the near future, and encouraged us to check back with him in January for an update.
“I am sure we will have a location in Brooklyn at some point,” said Jim Mallam, the restaurant chain’s director of franchise support.
This is not the first time that the controversial chain, which features waitresses in skin-tight short-shorts and form-fitting white tank tops, has considered Brooklyn.
Park Slope parents protested Hooters’s attempt to lease a property near the still-under-construction Barclays Center in May, but Coney Island business owners say that the Atanta-based “restaurant” could work in Coney Island, which has hosted countless burlesque shows and the annual Mermaid Parade — where thongs and pasties are part of the traditional costume.
“I wouldn’t be a regular, but I’d go there and eat some wings,” said Sideshow by the Seashore and Mermaid Parade founder Dick Zigun. “I’m looking to turn Surf Avenue into a late-night eating and drinking strip, and a Hooters would help with that.”
Others said a Hooters would be a logical fit for the neighborhood’s gritty, honky-tonk feel.
“It’s kind of perfect — you can go around the corner and see a burlesque show, and then you can go to Hooters and have a different kind of experience,” said Dianna “Lola Star” Carlin, owner of the eponymous Boardwalk boutique.
But not everybody was happy to see a chain restaurant open in Coney Island — even one as bawdy as a Hooters.
“They’re going to get rid of all the small businesses and make it all corporate,” said Steve Petrelli, manager at Cha Cha’s Surf Bar and Pizzeria on Surf Avenue. “It’s going to be the new Times Square.”
Vitacco said the second floor restaurant will be more than 20 feet above Surf Avenue and have an outdoor patio with a panoramic view of Luna Park, the Boardwalk, and the Atlantic Ocean.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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