The Hooters restaurant on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow — once a hot spot for beer, wings and burgers — now sits vacant, with plastic bags draped over its well-known sign and a “closed” notice on the front door.
Ed McCabe, an attorney who represents the Strix Restaurant Group, which owns the Hooters location, told the Herald that the decision to close the restaurant was purely a financial one. “We couldn’t financially make it work,” McCabe said, “and there’s no other reason.”
According to McCabe, the aging facility had been losing a great deal of money, and also needed nearly $1 million in renovations.
The restaurant also relied heavily on traffic that the Nassau Coliseum, in nearby Uniondale, brought to the area, McCabe said. A drop in the number of concerts and shows, as well the current NHL lockout and the cancellation of New York Islanders games, led to a decrease in its customer base. “So we’re not getting any bang from the Coliseum,” he said.
McCabe added that Hooters lost a lot of its target demographic to other emerging restaurants, such as Miller’s Ale House in Levittown and Buffalo Wild Wings in Hicksville.
Just the same, Millie Jones, president of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce, said that the restaurant’s closing came as a shock. “Every community is hurting right now as far as small business,” Jones said. “I’d really like to see mom-and-pop businesses coming into the area and people supporting them. Because it’s so important.”
The Strix Restaurant Group has owned the East Meadow Hooters since 2008, but the restaurant has existed since the early 1990s, McCabe said, adding that he does not know what will become of the building.
Two other Hooters owned by the Strix group are also undergoing changes: The chain’s Farmingdale location is being turned into a Bud’s Ale House, and its restaurant in Islandia will become a sports bar called 58.