Feminists in Cardiff have pledged to oppose moves by a US bar chain, known for the small outfits worn by its female staff, to set up shop in the city.
Hooters have applied to Cardiff Council’s licensing committee to set up a bar and grill in the city centre – a move voraciously opposed by the Cardiff Feminist Network.
Spokesperson for the group, Sally Hughes, argues that a branch of Hooters would bring more antisocial behaviour into the city centre at a time when Cardiff is trying to improve its night-time reputation.
Ms Hughes said: “A branch could bring with it antisocial behaviour, particularly from large stag parties who have caused problems in the only other restaurant in the UK, as well as the spreading of the sex industry in the city.”
Many of the groups 183 members have already pledged to write to the licensing department to raise objections.
Despite being slightly critical of the group’s opposition, Cardiff Central AM, Jenny Randerson said she would listen to any concerns presented by her constituents;
Ms Randerson said: “I think there are more pressing challenges facing feminism than a slightly seedy restaurant chain opening in Cardiff such as unequal pay, domestic violence and human trafficking. I will however listen to the views of my constituents and others who use the city centre.”
Indeed fellow Liberal Democrat, Councillor Simon Pickard confessed to having visited the UK’s only Hooters bar while visiting a friend in Nottingham.
In comments made to Wales Online, the Cathays ward councillor said: “They are fairly tacky bars, but they don’t pretend to be anything else. I don’t have a problem with the idea of it coming to Cardiff.
“Having a variety of outlets in the city is a good thing. If there is a market for it then it will succeed, but if there isn’t then it will fail.”
Cllr. Pickard’s comments have since been criticised as putting consumerism before women.
Ms Hughes added: “Does Cardiff really want to be ‘fairly tacky’. Variety is great, using sex to sell food, not so great.”
Meanwhile, fellow Cathays ward councillor Liz Clark said she was obviously concerned about any potential exploitation of women in the city but would need to investigate further before passing detailed comment on the specific Hooters’ proposal.
Mrs Clark said: “I am not familiar with this particular establishment, however I would be concerned about any organisation or business which exploited women in an inappropriate way.”
We’d like to know what you think? Do you think that Hooters coming to Wales is appropriate? Would you back opposition to the bar? Are you looking forward to the US chain potentially coming to Cardiff?
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