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Opposition to Hooter’s Cardiff City Centre plans

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?

Join the debate online on our Facebook fan page, or comment below.



22 thoughts on “Opposition to Hooter’s Cardiff City Centre plans

  1. The objectification of women is just one of the insidious and damaging ways that patriarchy uses its power to subjugate women. Hooters exemplifies this perfectly – not in my city thank you – join the
    campaign on Say No To Hooters in Cardiff on Facebook!

    Posted by sallyliz | August 6, 2010, 8:23 pm
  2. How would this “spread the sex industry in the city” exactly? its a resturant, not a brothel. The girls who work their do out of their own free will. Ridiculous really, i see it as an opportunity to hire maybe 20-40 people, but no we best not because 138 women with too much free time on thier hand’s object.

    Posted by McLovin | August 6, 2010, 8:40 pm
    • I don’t get heckled by blokes in Cardiff Central by choice or my own free will. It’s objectification of women however that make men think this kind of behaviour is acceptable. Heck, one of the most uncomfortable sexist comments I have ever received was from a bouncer outside a strip club, all I did was walk past. He is supposed to be protecting those women against sexual harassment!

      Also, Cardiff has very few job opportunities now, as a job hunter I’d know! Women will apply not because they’re ok with being sex objects but because they’re desperate for work.

      I’m not having it, and I’m joining the campaign against it!

      Posted by Katie | August 6, 2010, 9:41 pm
      • Well said Katie.Its horrible being heckled by men and places like Hooters make that kind of behaviour seem acceptable.
        I wonder if the men who like Hooters, or think that shouting at women is OK, would be so happy if it was their own daughters getting the attention?

        Posted by Gillian | August 7, 2010, 12:52 pm
  3. I wonder to what extent free will comes in to the equation, I wonder how many women do it out of a feeling of not knowing what other road to take because jobs are so scarse, I wonder how we can get some women who might do this work commenting on here?

    Posted by sallyliz | August 6, 2010, 9:38 pm
  4. I beg your pardon McLovin, but it is not just females that oppose such crap. If we needed more job opportunities then why not create a restaurant that hires male and female, giving both sexes an equal chance, whilst also not sexualising their body. We do not need a ridiculous American chain to demean and belittle young women.

    Posted by It | August 6, 2010, 9:50 pm
  5. I will say it again here – just because some women don’t mind being objectified doesn’t mean it isn’t damaging to them and all women in society.

    Posted by mkk | August 6, 2010, 10:09 pm
  6. The day there are men dressed in tight shorts and tshirts serving food and serving fake smlies in a so called restaurant, I want to see you in there MR Mclovin serving me, giving me all you got.

    Posted by Maggie | August 6, 2010, 10:28 pm
  7. As a woman who frequently has to walk through Cardiff city centre late on a Friday or Saturday night to catch a bus home after work, I am very concerned about this proposal. Establishments like Hooters may seem harmless, but in fact they promote objectification of women by encouraging people to see (and treat) women as sex objects. Any woman who has to walk down St Mary’s Street or Westgate street on her own late on Friday or Saturday evenings to catch a bus already has to run a gauntlet of lecherous comments and behaviour from groups of drunk men. We really don’t need places like Hooters fuelling further objectification. We have the right to go about our business in our own city without being subjected to this sexual objectification.

    Posted by CardiffBluesFan | August 6, 2010, 10:53 pm
  8. It’s bringing in jobs, it could be putting some women through university to become doctors lawyers etc we can’t all rely on Daddy to provide us with money you know.

    Posted by Anon | August 7, 2010, 7:57 am
  9. I can see how this might seem to encourage bad behaviour or weekends and stag nights, but that has nothing to do with the restaurant and everything to do with the people visiting it.

    The Hooters chain the US does not objectify women to the extent that many bars in the UK do — if you want to keep women from being abused, you should start with your own bars. Many of them employ women on the basis of their looks whether or not they admit to it.

    Having actually visited a Hooters before, I can assure you that the bar isn’t intended to be seedy and, when people behave like adults, it’s fine. It has nothing to do with the sex industry, and is no tackier than anything else that goes on in Cardiff on a Saturday night.

    I don’t see why they shouldn’t open a Hooters in Cardiff — as long as there is sufficient security to to deal with anyone heckling the staff.

    Posted by Jennifer | August 7, 2010, 11:36 am
  10. Allowing a Hooters to open in Cardiff would be a step in the wrong direction. I fail to see how anyone could see this proposal, or the company proposing it, as anything other than shockingly sexist.
    I’ll be joining the campaign against it opening.

    Posted by Lew | August 7, 2010, 2:25 pm
  11. Cardiff is above this garbage.

    Posted by Maggie | August 7, 2010, 8:30 pm
  12. I have been to a Hooter’s in the US (a gay couple and mother in-law!). I may be wrong but I am sure there were men working there as well as women.
    Yes, the chain does objectivity women. Yes that’s wrong. In the US it sells very unhappy chicken wings, and I have no reason to think that the UK branches will only sell organic, freedom, happy life chickens.
    So for the sake of women and chickens just don’t bother. Once bitten, never again.

    Posted by Peter D Cox | August 10, 2010, 6:47 pm
  13. I wonder if you’d all be jumping up and down if roles were reversed. What about a bar with topless men in g strings?

    Posted by Rachel Thomas | August 13, 2010, 12:30 pm
  14. “Indeed fellow Liberal Democrat, Councillor Simon Pickard confessed to having visited the UK’s only Hooters bar while visiting a friend in Nottingham.”

    Hooters is actually an ILLEGAL establishment under British and EU law, so here we have a city councillor publically confessing to having aided and abetted a crime. Btw…Mr Pickard, would you mind letting those of us who work for a living know how many other sex shops, lapdancing clubs and brothels you have frequented using (our) hard-earned taxpayers’ money?

    Posted by Katie | August 21, 2010, 2:24 pm
  15. Btw…I’m not the Katie that posted earlier above, but I also didn’t want Hooters in Cardiff (or anywhere else either). And, good luck with the jobhunting, Katie – hope you find something good soon:)

    Posted by Katie | August 21, 2010, 2:26 pm
  16. Goodness me, I have never known such a fuss about anything.

    Katie – what is illegal about it? And if it is illegal, how is the bar in Nottingham allowed to operate?

    Also Katie, what evidence do you have that Cllr Pickard used taxpayer money to fund his trip to Hooters? That’s quite an allegation.

    Posted by Rachel Thomas | August 22, 2010, 9:23 am
  17. Hi Rachel

    I’m no lawyer, but I think it’s illegal because William McTaggart (Boss of Hooters) has publically stated to the people of Wales via our national media that Hooters is a restaurant – and restaurants are not covered by Section 21a of the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act. Employing Men-Only or Women-Only as waiting staff is not protected under British (and EU law) as a Genuine Occupational Qualification and, therefore, Hooters’ hiring and employment policies are illegal.

    How is the bar in Nottingham allowed to operate?#

    I’d say there’s some pretty heavy corruption going on at the ‘top’ of our society, as evidenced by the recent scandal re. politiicans (our leaders) expenses.

    Viva la Revolution!

    Posted by Katie | August 23, 2010, 10:51 pm
  18. Btw…just pointing out: Mr Pickard hasn’t come back to us, has he?

    Posted by Katie | August 23, 2010, 11:00 pm


  1. Pingback: Hooters will come to Cardiff after no ‘valid’ objections raised « ITV Wales - August 16, 2010

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