The new Chinatown branch of Hooters Restaurant -- the company's first inside the Beltway -- looks like a marketer's version of every macho man's fantasy: Attractive waitresses in tight white T-shirts and tighter day-glo-orange short-shorts carrying huge plates of wings and celery sticks and pitchers of beer to tables (mostly) full of casually dressed men, occasionally stopping to play with a hula hoop or jump rope.
Some friends and I popped in after a Wizards game and wondered if we'd stumbled onto the set of "The Man Show." (After we watched one server hula-hooping, I stuck my head into the other room to look for a trampoline, but didn't see one.)
Enjoy, because you're paying for your eye candy. A pitcher of Yuengling (about four glasses) costs $13. The menu features fried food, seafood, burgers, sandwiches -- including cheese steaks and grilled cheese -- and, surprisingly, salads. The "nearly world famous" hot wings are fine if you've never been to Buffalo, or if you don't care that they match the waitresses' shorts. Maybe that's to make dry cleaning easier? In any case, the wings' color is positively radioactive and definitely disconcerting. So, too, is the restaurant's decor, with wood paneling reminiscent of a finished basement and signs exhorting the consumption of beer and purchase of Hooters T-shirts.
Not everyone is going to like Hooters -- you know who you are -- but I can see it becoming the place to hang with your boys after watching the Capitals, Wizards or Hoyas at the MCI Center.
-- Fritz Hahn