Earlier today, the Phoenix received a copy of an email which Janis Beitzer, director of the Portland Downtown District, had forwarded on to members of the PDD. The email is from Mike Harris, owner of the Stadium sports bar on Congress Street. It confirmed months of rumors about a certain noteworthy corporation looking into purchasing his spot.
"Out of respect to all of you," Harris wrote, "I wanted to inform you first, before thenewspapers and the general public were told. The Stadium will be thelocation of the newest Hooters Restaurant in the country."
According to the email, Harris says he has "spent the past nine months and well over a hundred thousand dollars putting together this franchise deal." Hooters, based in Atlanta, is an international restaurant chain known for its well-endowed waitresses, aka "Hooters Girls". According to the Hooters website, the company owns more than 435 restaurants around the world. The Hooters Girl, the website states, "is as socially acceptable as a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, or a Radio City Rockette."
Harris apparently expects flak from some members of the Portland public due to the sexually explicit nature of Hooters, since most of his two page email tries to prove the company isn't nearly as bad as people might think:
"I am sure there is going to be some initial skepticism and a lot ofquestions. I was probably the biggest skeptic of all, but after sitting downwith members of Hooters corporate and visiting several of their locations, Isaw how professional this company is run."
"Again, I'm sure there will be a handful of people who will be hesitant inthe beginning, but I know once they see that this is nothing more than arestaurant, there is nothing rude or illegal going on, the company evenchooses NOT to promote or sell liquor."
Harris writes he will need to invest another $750,000 to ready the Stadium for the Hooters folks. Whether the rest of Portland will be ready for them remains to be seen.