Germany's first Hooters restaurant to open in mid-October

By STEVE MRAZ | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 6, 2005

SAARBRüCKEN, Germany — Good news: The first Hooters restaurant in Germany is set to open in mid-October.

Sort of bad news: The well-known American sports bar/restaurant won’t open in Ramstein, as previously reported, but rather in Neunkirchen.

The location change isn’t devastating news, considering that Hooters and all the perks that come with it will be within a 30-minute drive for the nearly 54,000 Americans that live in the Kaiserslautern area. As an added bonus, Hooters officials are exploring the possibility of having weekend buses run from Ramstein Air Base to the Neunkirchen Hooters.

While Hooters is best known for its mouth-watering, um, chicken wings, the company isn’t shy about flaunting its most valuable assets, having flown two Hooters girls to Germany for Friday morning’s news conference.

“Why would you want to go to Hooters?” asked Harry Grindrod, director of Hooters franchise operations in Europe. “I think I have two very good examples standing right next to me.”

Grindrod, a military brat and 1968 graduate of Frankfurt American High School, said he feels a personal responsibility to the forthcoming Neunkirchen Hooters.

“I think what the American military is going to find is this is just like home,” he said.

The Hooters will be located in Neunkirchen’s Wasserturm, a former industrial area that now houses a movie theater and several bars. The 5,500-square-foot restaurant will have 180 seats, American beers on tap and accept U.S. dollars.

Big screen TVs will show American sports. Hooters wing sauce and breading will be imported from the U.S. to ensure that the wings in Neunkirchen taste just like the Hooters wings back home. Unlike back home, the Neunkirchen Hooters will be open from 10 a.m. to about 4 a.m.

“I understand things stay open a little later over here,” said Michelle Moya, a Hooters girl who works in Miami. “That will be great for the Hooters customer.”

The restaurant chain hopes to open several Hooters throughout Germany and Europe in the coming years.

Grindrod said he is positive that Hooters will be a success in Germany.

“We have good food, beautiful women and really cold beer,” he said. “What men don’t like to eat good food, look at beautiful women and drink really cold beer?”

Hooters officials announce Friday morning that the first Hooters in Germany will open in mid-October in Neunkirchen, about a 30-minute drive from the Kaiserslautern military community.

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