Hooters Restaurant is coming back to Fresh Meadows, three years after the restaurant closed at the same site.
The restaurant has new owners, and, rumor has it, may have its servers in uniforms different from the company’s traditional orange shorts and tight white T-shirts.
The wings-and-burger restaurant is located in the shopping center anchored by Kohl’s Department store just south of the Long Island Expressway.
An exact opening date was not available from the company prior to the Chronicle’s deadline, but workers have been busy inside and outside for the last few weeks, and management already is advertising to fill all employee positions.
The new owner, Marc Phaneuf, owns Hooters restaurants in Connecticut and upstate New York.
He also opened one in Farmingdale on Long Island earlier this month.
Jim Gallagher, president of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association, said Phaneuf already has been before Community Board 8 to discuss his liquor license.
Gallagher admitted he was hoping for more of a family-friendly restaurant, such as Panera Bread for the site.
“I don’t think it fits with the neighborhood,” he said.
He said the last incarnation drew clientele including motorcycle groups who would park on sidewalks and other places, such as the nearby AMC movie theater parking lot.
“Plus, we’ve got a lot of schools nearby,” he said. “We’ve got Francis Lewis High School, St. Francis Prep, St. John’s. Queens College isn’t far away.”
Gallagher and published reports quote Phaneuf as saying the former site did not close due to poor performance, but because of a rift between the former franchise owners and corporate headquarters
“He said it was very successful until the old management team screwed up, followed by lawsuits,” he said.
Efforts to contact Phaneuf were unsuccessful prior to the Chronicle’s deadline.