Brownstoners have kept Hooters out so far, but the chest-centric food chain isn't giving up.
By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BROOKLYN — If Park Slope and Prospect Heights have their way, there will be no jiggling "Hooters girls" working tables in Brownstone Brooklyn.
Neighborhood residents joined business and civic leaders on Tuesday in an anti-Hooters outpouring, after a Daily News cover story blared, "B'klyn bans boobs."
The national chain, a fixture in suburban malls and a sure moneymaker near ball parks, has been hunting for possible locations near the Barclays Center, which is scheduled to open in September.
Hooters features young, attractive waitresses in revealing outfits. There are two Hooters restaurants in New York City — at 211 West 56th St. in Manhattan, around the corner from Carnegie Hall, and in Fresh Meadows, Queens.
Hooters would not be welcomed by Barclays Center's residential neighbors, Park Slope businessman Michael Pintchik told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Pintchik, who owns Pintchik Discount Hardware and several other properties along Flatbush Avenue between Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue and Grand Army Plaza, says he was "approached by a broker who was looking for space for the chain, but it was our opinion that it wouldn’t necessarily be best for our area."
Pintchik added, "As a community member, we try to work with the community, and the indications are that the community wouldn’t be pleased. I’ve seen Hooters in a lot of different locations, and it may work in some places, but not here."
"Many people here are upset," said Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6. "I don’t think that Hooters is the kind of experience that brownstone residents expect to find." The issue may be a "clash of cultures," he said.
"It’s clear that Prospect Heights doesn’t feel like it’s a good fit."
Michael Cairl, president of the Park Slope Civic Council, said in an email that the council "concurs with the position taken by the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID, the North Flatbush BID, and Michael Pintchik regarding opening a Hooters restaurant in the vicinity of Atlantic Yards."
Sharon Davidson, executive director of the North Flatbush Business Improvement District, and Irene Lo Re, executive director of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID, both made statements against Hooters coming to Brooklyn when interviewed by the News. Davidson also "tweeted" online, "No Hooters for Atlantic Avenue."
Twitter posts on the subject revealed a diversity of opinion.
"They’re going to open a Hooters in Brooklyn! I’m beyond hype! No more having to go to College Point or Times Square for good wings," @vavava.vane tweeted.
"I highly approve of a Hooters near the Brooklyn Nets stadium, anything to deter the hipsters from my hood!" tweeted @CHOmyGod.
On the other hand, @foxlite tweeted, "They’re about to build a Hooters on Atlantic Avenue? Brooklyn is about to be a crowded mess." And @Joshgreenman said, "We still welcome Nets cheerleaders. They keep their distance."
Despite Pintchik's refusal to rent to Hooters, other landlords may be less protective of their neighborhood's sensibilities.
"It’s alright as a restaurant," Pintchik said, "but I have a problem with the way they objectify women. I wouldn’t want my daughter going there."