ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly three years after Clearwater-based Hooters Management Corp. launched its fast-casual concept “Hoots," Tampa Bay is getting its own at Jannus Live in early 2020.
The company opened Hoots “A Hooters Joint” outside Chicago in 2017. Two others are slated for the Windy City, making the St. Petersburg spot its first and only Florida location.
Hoots will take over the Jannus Market at 204 First Ave N., which closed last month. It will be about 1,000 square feet and include outdoor seating.
“We are excited for the opportunity to bring the Hoots concept to the Tampa Bay community,” Hoots director of development and operations Will LeBas said in a statement. “Hoots at Jannus Live will be a great addition for nearby offices for lunch, late-night concertgoers and locals who want a quick and easy option for takeout or delivery.”
The new restaurant has a planned February opening.
Clearwater’s Hooters management company is the smaller of the two that operate the chain restaurant. It has 24 Hooters locations between Tampa Bay, the Chicago area and Manhattan.
CEO Neil Kiefer is part of the group that opened the first Hooters on Gulf to Bay Boulevard in 1983.
Hoots aims to be distinct from its “breastaurant” brethren. It has male and female servers and no revealing outfits. Its menu is shorter, but features its predecessors’ most popular dishes such as wings, tenders and Buffalo shrimp.
Like other fast-casual restaurants — think places like Chipotle and Panera — customers order at a counter. They can dine in, take out or have food delivered.
“It’s a little bit Hooters, a little bit its own thing,” the Hoots website says. “Always quick and delicious. Eat easy.”