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Business Observer Monday, May 4, 2020 2 weeks ago

Hooters spinoff restaurant debuts in area

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Hoots, a fast-casual chain launched in 2017, opens in St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG — Hoots, a fast-casual restaurant chain affiliated with the Hooters brand, which originated in Clearwater, has opened its first Florida location, in St. Petersburg, at 204 1st Ave. N. 

Hoots has opened at 204 1st Ave. N., in downtown St. Petersburg. Courtesy photo.

Hoots, according to a news release, specializes in chicken wings, jumbo chicken tenders, buffalo chicken sandwiches, crab legs, buffalo shrimp and waffle fries. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the 1,000-square-foot St. Pete location will operate from noon to 8 p.m. at reduced occupancy levels.

“We are glad to finally open,” states Will LeBas, Hoots’ director of development and operations. “We are looking forward to being a part of the St. Pete community. We will be following all the new mandates at 25% occupancy and offering to go, counter service and delivery.” 

Clearwater-based Hooters Management Corp. debuted the Hoots concept — which features smaller restaurants and self-checkout kiosks for ordering food — in Cicero, Ill., in 2017 and expanded to Chicago in December, the release states. The company also owns and operates 24 Hooters restaurants in New York, Chicago and the Tampa Bay area. 

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