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Hooters' New Restaurant Chain Is Opening 50 New Locations in This State

Hoots Wings is about to make the Hooters menu way more accessible in one hungry state.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

For years, Hooters relied on some pretty, well, traditional tactics to attract clientele. Now, their massive rebranding effort is suddenly getting as hot as their… wings. (You thought we were going to say something else!) The Hooters brand has just announced huge expansion plans in one state, as they also eye other key regions around the country to bring their new, fast-casual concept.

Hoots Wings is the new fast-casual chain that Hooters introduced in recent years. They offer many of Hooters regular menu items, but without table service and minus the focus on in-restaurant seating. During the pandemic (and since cultural values have shifted significantly in the past few years), Hooters executives realized that, with a framework that lends itself mostly to takeout, growing the Hoots Wings brand could be a critical answer to the loss of dine-in business that old-school Hooters locations suffered in 2020.

Read on to learn which state is about to get a huge flock of Hoots Wings, and check out 5 Controversial Rules Hooters Servers Have To Follow. Sign up for the Eat This, Not That! newsletter for breaking food news delivered straight to you each day.

Hoots Wings first hatched in 2017.

Shutterstock

Four years ago, Hooters introduced the concept of Hoots Wings—on the site OriginalHooters.com, they, uh, fleshed out how the Hoots Wings idea works:

"What do you do after you have been World Famous for 35 years? You create a fast version of yourself, that's what. Meet hoots [sic]. We took our most popular menu items, prepared and served in a smaller, quicker style. No Hooters Girl? No problem. Hoots is primarily to-go, with easy online ordering and on-site touchscreen kiosks, in addition to traditional counter ordering."

RELATED: This State Just Got Its First Self-Serve Beer Restaurant

Hoots Wings was relatively slow to take flight.

hooters snow crab legs
Jen S./Yelp

Between 2017 and 2021, just seven Hoots Wings locations existed throughout the U.S. Then, earlier this year, the corporation announced plans for a major expansion, taking 60 Hoots Wings stores throughout parts of Texas. Shifting the focus slightly from deep-fried Hooters items of a nearly bygone era, Hoots Wings is appealing to a more health-conscious demographic by highlighting their slightly healthier options, like salads, small plates, and seafood. They're also maximizing hip and trendy comfort foods, like mac & cheese and some bacon-based dishes.

RELATED: The Best Southern Food Spot in Every State

Today, they're going even bigger in one U.S. state.

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today, Hoots Wings announced plans to open 16 new locations within 20 miles of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. Further, by 2026, the brand intends "to build on this momentum and bring an additional 50 locations to key markets across Pennsylvania—via strategic franchise partnerships—in the next five years."

This is in addition to May's announcement of six Hoots Wings restaurants slated to open by 2023. Those are set to go into in Providence, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania's King of Prussia, and Newark, Hoboken, Atlantic City, and Jersey City in New Jersey.

Because there's no restaurant without community.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Today's announcement suggests the new Pennsylvania locations will be under the ownership of Hooters' parent brand, HOA (for "Hooters of America")—and, just as you might guess from a brand whose gimmick was scantily-clad waitresses serving wings and beer, they say the Hoots Wings expansion is all for the greater good. Said Sal Melilli, CEO of HOA Brands, via today's press release:

"Hoots' goals for development goes further than simply growing our number of locations . . . We want to bring hoots wings' unique wing concept to our fans in Pennsylvania, but we also want to bring jobs to the community as well . . . [W]ith this deal alone they'll bring between 200-300 jobs to the area—and we're excited to see their vision and success in the industry enacted through hoots wings in Philadelphia."

Hey PA? We hope you're hungry. Check out The Best Spot to Get a Burrito in Every State, and keep reading:

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at <em>Eat This, Not That!</em>, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more