Who Needs Hooters?

photos/Matthew Robbins

Who Needs Hooters?

By Sean Wilkinson and The Fuge

Who needs Hooters? Well, if we’re talking about the restaurant chain famous for hot wings and scantily clad waitresses, we don’t need Hooters. But if we’re keeping this in the lowercase, using the improper-noun version of the word (a colloquialism for boobies), then we do, indeed, need hooters. Few would be so foolish as to deny that the female form is beautiful in its myriad shapes and sizes. And if there’s a place in town where the girls want to empirically prove that fact, then we’re all for it. Bring on the lowercase hooters.

The “we” in this case is the art direction team for The Bollard. Our editor assigned us the arduous task of reviewing a business in town that specializes in said hooters. At least, it does now. In the summer of ’06, Mike Harris, proprietor of The Stadium, announced plans to turn his Free Street sports bar into Maine’s first outpost of the national Hooters chain, setting off Portland’s controversial formula-business ban and delighting meatheads throughout the county.

The ban was rescinded last winter (a city task force will try to write a new version this fall), but Harris’ bar was trashed shortly thereafter by mysterious late-night visitors and closed for months (Portland PD is still on the case). By the time the bar was ready to reopen, the Hooters deal had flown, so Harris went to the community chest instead. It’s as if he said, “Fine! I don’t need corporate-issued short shorts and tiny tops! I’ll hire my own hotties and they’ll dress even skimpier! More cleavage! No panty hose! More cleavage! (Wait, did I already say that?)”

Forgive me for being crass, but The Stadium presents the willing customer with all the trappings of spoiled modern manhood: good beer, fine ass, and up-to-the-minute sports coverage.

• Televisions line every vertical surface. Just looking at the dozens of cable boxes and controls behind the bar is entertaining, nevermind all the sports being broadcast from around the globe.

• Two bars with dozens of beers available and multiple methods of high-quantity beer dispersal (including bongs and giant jugs in the shape of bottles). And, of course, a full complement
of liquor at each bar.

• Affordable bar food fried to perfection, available late.

• Video games, pool tables, and other games of sporting skill.

• A mechanical bull, for Christ’s sake. Maybe you never actually ride the mechanical bull, but there it is, a mechanical bull, and when they turn it on Wednesday and Saturday nights, the place is stacked—er, I mean, packed with people.

•And, of course, there are the waitresses. The loveley waitresses of The Stadium. They wear delightfully skimpy referee uniforms, complete with low-cut tops, tiny shorts, knee socks, and a whistle. 

These waitresses are hardly a bunch of airheads. They’re friendly, smart, and funny. And they can probably beat you in most of the games in the room (watch out for the basketball game ringer and the pool hustler).

Plus, they ride the bull. In fact, they ride the bull really well, and they like doing it. Harris told us once, as he was manning the robo-bovine controls, that when the girls get on, he cranks the knobs up higher than he does for customers, especially guys. The Stadium gals are just way better at it. 

Girls are better at a lot of things, including, lucky for us, wearing tiny referee uniforms. Ogle local.

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