After a six-year absence, Hooters will be making a return to the metro area.
The restaurant chain is planning to build a location in western La Vista at 12710 Westport Parkway. Construction on the new building is expected to begin this spring with a completion date estimated for sometime in October or November.
The establishment was approved for a Class C liquor license during the March 5 La Vista City Council meeting.
This will be the first corporate owned Hooters franchise in Nebraska. The Hooters that was previously located near 125th Street and West Center Road was a franchise establishment.
“Our group bought them out six years ago, but we were unable to come to terms with the landlord,” said Mark Whittle, chief development officer for Hooters of America.
“We took some time to stabilize the operation, but we were definitely looking to get back in this area. Last year we started looking actively at additional sites that were suitable for growth and sales potential.”
The group also operates the Hooters in Council Bluffs, Iowa, as well as several locations in the Kansas City area and other parts of Kansas and Missouri.
Whittle said the La Vista location made sense for a variety of reasons, including its proximity to Cabelas.
“We have several locations that are near a Cabelas or Bass Pro Shop and they all do well,” he said. “We find we have similar customers in that people who like the outdoors like wings.
“We also loved the location near I-80 and that makes it more of a regional draw. You’ve also got a cinema (Alamo Drafthouse), a hotel (Embassy Suites) and a Costco so you’ve got places that generate a lot of activity.”
Whittle said while the menu at Hooters will look familiar, the building itself will have a different look and feel.
“It’s a little bit smaller from the previous Hooters,” he said. “It will seat about 200 people, including the patio area. It will have a more contemporary look than the older Hooters.”
Whittle said they expect to employ about four to six full-time employees and 60 to 70 part-time employees.
“It’s a high energy bar and a great environment for sports viewing,” Whittle said.