Texas

Hooters opens soon in Abilene. One Christian university is less than thrilled

Three Hooters waitresses take a selfie during a break in the TABC hearing Tuesday about the restaurant’s application for a liquor license. The Downtown Fort Worth Neighborhood Committee is opposing the license.
Three Hooters waitresses take a selfie during a break in the TABC hearing Tuesday about the restaurant’s application for a liquor license. The Downtown Fort Worth Neighborhood Committee is opposing the license. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Abilene is home to three Christian universities.

Hooters famously fills the ranks of its half-clad waitresses and bartenders with college girls, and the well-endowed chain's move into Abilene was announced in April 2017, according to the Abilene Reporter-News.

Something had to give, and it was Abilene Christian University that made the first move this week. The new location is now hiring all manner of Hooters girls and other workers before the restaurant opens on Jan. 15, less than a mile from the ACU campus.

The university has discouraged its students from "Hooters girl" aspirations, according to KTXS.

"We have asked students to consider both what Hooters represents and whether that is something they really want to support in terms of both their faith and the value this business model places on women," a spokesperson, identified as Emerald Cassidy by other publications, told the station. 'If a student were in a position where the university felt they were not upholding the standards in the handbook, we'd address those issues with that student at that time."

The handbook reference is to a section that instructs "students to make decisions that ultimately glorify God."

It's not a threat of expulsion, but it's enough to get people talking, and smirking at the treatment Hooters is getting in the press. In a blog post for Rock 108 KEYJ, local radio host Frank Pain tried on the voice-of-reason hat by telling people in the area to "stop freaking out" about the opening.

According to the Reporter-News, Cassidy's statement does not proactively stop students from applying or working at Hooters. McMurry University, one of the other Christian universities in town, has not frowned on its students' potential employment there.

For its part, TCU, like McMurry, does not adopt an official position on any lawful employment a student might seek, said Holly Ellman, associate director of communications at Fort Worth's Christian university.

The restaurant chain and the Downtown Fort Worth Neighborhood Committee presented their cases at a hearing over Hooters’ application for a liquor license from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner)

Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667; @MCTinez817

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