The Old Gateway Country store on the South Loop may be the future location of Hooters restaurant. For the past two years Lubbock has lobbied to have one of its own and next year this popular hang out will open its doors here in Lubbock.
Just ask anyone about this popular restaurant and whether they've been there or not everyone has an opinion about it. "I've been there for the wings, for the wings mind you," says Lubbock resident, Wayne Smith.
Hot wings, their signature entree along with a few others draw customers, many of them college students. "The food is actually real good and of course the waitresses and wardrobes attract a lot of guys but it's just a fun atmosphere," says Tech student, Jeremy McEwen.
With Lubbock considered a college town, some wonder why there isn't one here already. Now that word is out Lubbock may be getting a Hooters of their own, residents have mixed feelings. "I like the food and the beer but I really wish they wouldn't have naked people in there but I do like the restaurant," says Tech student Leigh Anne Koch.
"I guess I'm kind of old-fashioned and I'm not ready for that yet. I think it would be best if we kept out of situations like that," says Lamesa resident, Shelly Moore.
Whether the public thinks it's good or bad, Mayor Marc McDougal says when large franchises of any kind open in Lubbock, it means the economy is good and growing in a positive direction.
"I think it's just another example of a national chain coming and recognizing that Lubbock is one of the few cities in the country that supports restaurants. I look at this as an expanding market and believe that there's a market here for their services," says McDougal.
Scott Wilkinson with Texas Wings Inc, the Dallas based franchisee for Hooters of America says they've had their eyes on Lubbock for two years and now is the perfect opportunity to expand their franchise once again in a marketable city. "It's been on our radar screen for two years. A lot of markets have different growth at different times and right now our franchise encompasses the state and our strategy was to grow in the metroplex first and then go to the smaller markets as the concept expands," says Wilkinson.
Wilkinson adds that the Hooters restaurant will open in the fall of next year.