Eager to fit the fishing village motif of Johns Pass, Hooters realized the village shopping center already sports a fake shark scale for tourist photos. So the chain's new pub that opens on the Boardwalk in Madeira Beach on Monday includes its own version complete with a 14-foot chicken wing hanging from an oversized fish hook scale.
Visitors can pose sitting on drums of Hooters hot sauce. Fabricated by Wacky World Studios in Oldsmar, the plastic wing weighs 1,037 pounds and is visible from the nearby Johns Pass Bridge. Signs claim it's the world's largest wing because Hooters designers don't recall seeing a bigger one anywhere.
"While our contribution to the tourist market may not be as big as Busch Gardens, we certainly blow away the chimp farm," said Dan Walker, who dreamed up the idea at Provident Advertising, the chain's Clearwater ad agency. Once the former Pepin's in northeast St. Petersburg reopens next year as a Hooters, the chain will have increased its south Pinellas presence by a third with three stores in new locations less than 3 years old.