Two Hooters restaurants on Long Island will be rebranded and one will cease operations, the local Hooters franchisee said.
The announcement comes after Hooters of America terminated a franchise agreement with Strix Restaurant Group -- which runs four local Hooters -- and its owner William Harley earlier this month because of noncompliance.
Strix owns three Hooters on Long Island -- in East Meadow, Farmingdale and Islandia -- and one in Fresh Meadows in Queens. The East Meadow location will close, and the operations in Farmingdale and Fresh Meadows will be renamed Bud's Ale House. The Islandia Hooters will become 58's -- a reference to the fact that it is off Exit 58 on the Long Island Expressway.
Ed McCabe, the lawyer for Strix, said there were already plans to convert the Hooters to new operations because Hooters of America was not being supportive of the business, but the contract termination sped up the process.
"It’s like... a marriage that’s gone very bad," he said. "We couldn’t make money as a Hooters and we have to move on."
Hooters of America said earlier this month that it had sent Harley a cease and desist notice to stop using the Hooters name in his restaurant locations.
“We are extremely protective of the Hooters brand and in the unfortunate circumstance that a franchisee is not complying with its obligations under the franchise agreements, we must take actions to protect our concept,” said Hooters of America chief executive Terry Marks in a news release. “New York is a vibrant market for Hooters, and in addition to the Manhattan and Yonkers locations slated to open next year, HOA is finalizing a development agreement with an existing franchisee to open five locations in the Long Island area.”