Salford Hooters restaurant launch delayed by ‘complex’ negotiations
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‘Complex’ negotiations with a landlord have delayed the opening of the controversial Hooters restaurant and bar in Salford – where scantily-clad young women serve customers. The boss behind the Hooters restaurant and bar says it could be the middle or the end of the year before its outlet in Salford Quays can open.
Julian Mills, who has run the Nottingham Hooters for the last 21 years, said that negotiations with the landlord of 3 Capital Quay were ‘coming to an end’. The licence for Hooters was granted by Salford city council in June in face of 91 objections and opposition from its own mayor Paul Dennett, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and MPs Rebecca Long-Bailey and Barbara Keeley.
Mr Mills said he was ‘confident’ the new Hooters bar would open some time this year. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We thought getting the licence would be much more difficult than getting the deal done with the landlord, but it has been the other way round.
“It’s no-one’s fault that it’s taken so long, but we are hoping to get it done within the next three or four weeks. It’s a bit like buying a house, but multiplied by a factor of 50, in terms of the complexity of the negotiations.”
He stressed that because Hooters operates on a franchise business model – similar to Burger King and McDonald’s – the Salford Hooters will not be run the same way as the current Liverpool Hooters and the two restaurants will be ‘entirely unconnected’. Mr Mills said that once the agreement with the landlord had been signed and there were ‘boots on the ground’ it would four-to-five months to launch the Salford Hooters.
“We are intending to employ between 50 and 60 people, but we haven’t advertised yet because we don’t know exactly when we are opening,” he added.
At the time the licence for Hooters was granted, chairman of the licensing panel, Coun John Warmisham, said the city council was ‘required by law to process a premises licence application’.
He added: “The process is set out in legislation and government guidance. The decision to grant or refuse a premises licence application or the imposition of any conditions must be within the parameters of the licensing objectives. Opinion and personal choice are not relevant or legitimate reasons to refuse an application.”
Organisations which voiced objections to the granting of the licence included Male Allies Challenging Sexism, the Women’s Equality Party, Yes Matters, FiLia, Womanchester and GM4 Women.