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HOOTERS THE SPORTS CAFE, CARDIFF

Well, this was simultaneously expected but unexpected. Hooters of Cardiff was rumoured to be on the way out back in February, when the Bristol branch of the ultimate patriarch’s dream closed, and rumours were rife that the restaurant in the Welsh capital was heading rapidly towards the same fate, much to feminists’ delight and, well, nobody else seemed to care. Not even lustrous men, which clearly demonstrated that Hooters has its place, either in Robin Hood’s home town or firmly on American soil, where the natural drive and enthusiasm to make a mockery of yourself for precious tips comes more naturally.

Ironically, our next review was going to be Hooters, where we visited with the summit of the unlimited chicken wing challenge leaderboard in mind. Things have changed now, so we’ll have to give it a retrospective analysis on why it failed to last two years.

It’s a great shame in terms of job losses, but the trouble with Hooters in Britain isn’t that we don’t like scantily clad attractive women serving us food and drink, it’s more along the lines that the brand wasn’t adjusted for us. Everything nailed to the walls is American. While it might work for TGIFridays, the soulless nature of its execution at Hooters condemns it to an empty, misguided shell. It needed converting to appeal to its its new audience, as the cheesy nature just wasn’t going to be embraced here without our typical cynical British views – just have a look at TripAdvisor.

Move aside poorly judged American franchise and, somehow, welcome back the Sports Café, a relic from the origins of the Cardiff Bay development, where a shortage of regular footfall claimed its demise. It’s strategically re-opening in time for the Euro 2012 championships and, early indication from its website suggests, it’ll merely be a re-brand of Hooters with the above paragraph’s criticisms firmly in mind. It will still do sports and chicken wings, only without the plunge bras.

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