When I first heard of Hooters back in the early 1990s, I often wondered what kind of people – what kind of men, naturally – went there.

I imagined that for a dude, walking into the local Hooters was kind of like putting on a sandwich board that read, “I’m desperate and pathetic! And since I can’t carry on a normal conversation with a woman, at least one who doesn’t chew tobacco or isn’t my captive audience, I have come here.”

Of course, that was, like, a lifetime ago, when young women who either were hot or thought they were worked there. These days, the Hooters girl’s uniform – white tank-top, shiny orange shorts, pantyhose, tube socks, and tennis shoes – is a lot less revealing, a lot less snug than it was back in the day, which is probably part of the reason why you’ll likely see tons of families there now. Another reason may be that for many young wannabe models and movie stars, working at Hooters doesn’t seem as glamorous now as it did in the olden days, when nary a local evening newscast went by without some mention of the restaurant.


In other words, Hooters’ “talent” now genuinely appears to be concerned with providing good service rather than simply looking good.

I guess they’d better, though. There’s some, uh, stiff competition out there: On the national level, you have, among others, Ker’s WingHouse and the Tilted Kilt (a Scottish-themed bar/restaurant whose servers sport what looks like a cross between a kilt and a schoolgirl outfit). Locally, there’s The Smoke Pit and The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium.

Since when, you may ask, am I such a scholar of midriff-baring beauties, barbecue, and beer? Well, a couple of weeks ago, some friends and I made our way to one of Hooters’ three Arlington locations, and, ever the diligent journalist, I took copious notes. The amazing thing: Not only did I not feel creepy, but I ate, like, 500 wings. They were pretty frickin’ good.

Arriving on the national scene at a time when political correctness was as annoying as it was gonna get – and that was pretty dern annoying – Hooters was the perfect antidote. Now that that the pendulum has swung in favor of political incorrectness, Hooters has become downright … quaint.

Next week’s column: where all the creeps went.

Don’t Go for the Messy Look

I can tell you this much: They haven’t gone to Knockouts, a chain of fight-themed grooming salons for men, staffed by attractive gals, that just opened a location in Arlington. Believe me, you don’t want to piss off a girl with scissors and who may or may not actually know mixed martial arts.

“I think this place rocks,” said 21-year-old Lilly Ruelas, Knockouts’ resident massage therapist. “Customers get complimentary beer. We wear short shorts and fitted tees, and you get your hair cut in a [fake] boxing ring with the ropes on the side.”

Lilly could have stopped at the free beer. But when you also have tv’s tuned to sports 24/7 and a person cutting your hair while, y’know, you watch sports and quaff free beer, what’s not to like.

But tell us more about the free beer, Lilly? How many do you think the average Joe can get away with at a casual drinking pace?

“The most I’ve seen a guy drink is two,” Ruelas said. “Usually, when you’re getting your haircut, you keep pretty still.”

You heard the lady.

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900 E Copeland Rd, Arlington.