- Dave Thomas American-Statesman staff
The first Hooters restaurant opened in 1983, just a year before Donald Trump decided to defeat the NFL by investing in the USFL. Hooters was the better bet … there’s now more than 400 of them in 42 states and 29 countries.
There’s three score Twin Peaks restaurants. There’s nearly as many Tilted Kilt locations. And there’s all manner of smaller operations, such as Austin’s Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill, Bombshells, Redneck Heaven (really), Show-Me’s (stop it), Racks (ugh) and Mugs N Jugs (tacky … just, tacky).
Whether you think of these “breastaraunts” as “harmless fun” or “tasteless food for tasteless folks,” it was only a matter of time before somebody decided turnabout is fair play.
And so it happened.
In May 2015, Tallywackers opened in Dallas, not long after the Dallas Morning News declared it would be known as a “chestaurant.” And it was. Hunky, shirtless men serving food and drinks, wearing the kind of “shorts” that would make me tell my kid “either put some pants on or quit standing in front of the window, boy.”
It closed a little more than a year later. Apparently buff waiters with big hot dogs and S&M burgers were no match for an uncomfortable euphemism for a name. Even if they did have an ATM that dispensed dollar bills.
But the owner is not giving up. Just this week Rodney Duke told the Morning News that he is scouting for locations to reopen the restaurant. Uh, chestaurant. In another city.
So why not Austin? Where else but the city that keeps it weird?
You need a supply of buff young men for your staff, uh, workforce. And Austin is consistently ranked among the fittest cities in America.
You need a relatively tolerant attitude. And Austin is known for that.
The original Tallywackers catered to the LGBT community as well as hungry women. Austin can deliver.
Besides, where else? Would Tallywackers build alongside the new Hooters location Abilene, just to further antagonize Abilene Christian University?
There’s no word yet. This is exactly not like trying to win Amazon’s second headquarters but … we’ll let you know if we hear something.