In honor of July 4th, I’d like to turn the spotlight on a uniquely American restaurant chain known as Hooters, which opened its doors in Medellin three years ago.
Known in the USA for its buxom waitresses, and spicy buffalo wings, it was only a matter of time before the owl and tacky uniforms made their presence known in Colombia.
In July 2010, upon returning to Colombia after a year away, I met up with friends in Parque Lleras, and together, we grabbed dinner and beers at Hooters.
Like the Hard Rock Cafe, if you’ve been to one Hooters, you’ve been to them all.
The standardized menu ensures Americans will get a taste of home, whether it’s the buffalo wings, quesadillas, cheeseburgers, or jalepeno cheese fries.
You can count on a certain, albeit greasy, standard of quality.
And that certainly goes for the wait staff too, though as my friend Troy likes to say, Medellin has the only Hooters where the guys are more likely to be watching the girls walking by on the sidewalk, then the ones inside serving them.
But what struck me during my foray into Colombian Hooters was the presence of teenage girls.
On the opposite end of the bar from us, there was a large table with a teenage girl celebrating her birthday, along with a dozen of her girlfriends.
I’ve only been to a Hooters once in the USA, so I can’t compare, but the stereotype is that it’s a sports bar where men of all ages go to flirt with the scantily clad girls, who are of course there to rake in as much money in tips as possible every day.
But the clientele is different in Colombia.
In the video below, Naty Gaviria, a Colombian Hooters girl from the Medellin restaurant, wins the title of Miss Hooters World 2010 after the International Swimsuit Pageant July 10, 2010.
If you follow the subtitles in her interview, you’ll see she mentions the fact that families go to Hooters for birthdays, and to spend time around the Hooters girls.
Below is the casting event to choose Miss Hooters Colombia 2010.
Do you think it’s strange for young girls and families to be hanging out at Hooters? Or is that common at all Hooters restaurants Share your thoughts in the Comments below.