It looks like DFW.com’s Heather Svokos was ahead of her time.
Five years ago, Heather wrote a tongue-in-cheek column headlined “Get a slice of my beefcake bonanza.” In it, she put forth a modest proposal.
“You’re familiar with the term breastaurant, yes?,” she wrote. “Hooters, Twin Peaks — you know, the kind of joint where beautiful young women in tight tops serve you wings and pub grub with wink and a smile.
“Well, get ready for some equal opportunity-ogling. Behold, the ‘meatery.’ ... It’s a place where women can grab a bite, have hunky guys flirt with them and do some giggly ogling — all in a safe, nonthreatening environment.”
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And now, it’s about to happen, although as far as we know, nobody has checked with Heather. Dallas media have been reporting this week about Tallywackers, a “Male-staffed” — that’s Fox 4’s choice of words — “alternative to ‘breastaurants’ ” that’s about to open in Oak Lawn.
Tallywackers’ web site doesn’t say much beyond “bar/restaurant/live entertainment,” although it does have a couple of oddly placed, suggestive arrows in the Tallywackers logo.
As far as we can tell, Eater Dallas broke the news, citing a help wanted ad on Craigslist (if you’re interested in applying, the date on the ad has passed, but we’re guessing that there are still opportunities). The ad features two shirtless hunks of beefcake, one of them sporting a plate with a hot dog on it, which probably inspired Eater’s memorable line “Tallywackers appears to be a bar and restaurant staffed by half-naked men who may or may not offer suggestive raised eyebrows while serving phallic-shaped foods such as hot dogs.” There’s also a guy wearing an actual shirt.
There are many more shirtless men on Tallywackers’ Facebook page, and in that case, the men aren’t wearing demure aprons over their short shorts like the guys in the Craigslist ad are.
In her 2010 column, Heather had suggested such restaurant names as “Peckers,” “Beefcakes” and “Rock Hard Cafe.” And, of course, the “meatery” term, although other terms have been proposed. We’re not sure we can even use Eater Dallas’ suggestion, which rhymes with “brickstaurant.” The Dallas Morning News used “chestaurant,” although we’ve seen that term applied to the Hooters/Twin Peaks/Ojos Locos axis as well. The Houston Chronicle went with “himbo” restaurant. The Dallas Observer, using some of the examples we just cited, went with “pecstaurant” (one of Heather’s ideas for a name was “Peccers,” but she thought it was too indirect.
The Fox 4 report was relatively demure, although we’re still wondering if someone snuck “male-staffed” in there intentionally.
The restaurant, scheduled to open in May at 4218 Lemmon Ave., is even getting national attention. The Huffington Post reports that “A spokesperson for Tallywackers said its founder conceived of the idea ‘10 years ago while enjoying the business we all know and love known as ‘Hooters.’”
“He asked himself the same question we’ve all been asking for years, ‘Why isn’t there a male version for the opposite demographic?’,” the spokesperson told HuffPo. “After thorough planning and scouting for the perfect location we are excited to launch Tallywackers, a Bar, Restaurant, and Live Entertainment venue here in the heart of Dallas, Texas.”
That heart, or that part of it, anyway, is in a predominantly gay neighborhood, as many sites have pointed out. But the owners say it’s going to be a place for everyone. “While we are aiming towards the LGBT community as part of our audience, we are also expecting and welcome, a diverse clientele including women,” a spokesperson told HuffPo, which reports that the menu will include dishes like pasta, pizza and hot dogs.
Judging from the comments from women on the Tallywackers Facebook page, the clientele will be diverse indeed. And if this takes off, the potential is huge for expansion and hype. Hey, if Redneck Heaven can get its own TV show, who’s to say more national exposure for Tallywackers is far behind?