‘No one is forcing girls to work there’: People on the street react after controversial new Hooters restaurant in Salford Quays was approved despite objections
A new Hooters has been approved at Salford Quays despite 91 objections to the plans – but not everyone is against the proposal.
The controversial plan to open a Hooters bar and restaurant in the old Chiquitos building on Capital Quay, next to Salford Quays tram stop, was approved at a licensing committee meeting on Friday June 10, despite opposition from Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett and the mayor. of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.
Trafford and Stretford MP Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Women’s Equality Party, Womanchester, GM4Women, and Worsely and Eccles South MP Barbara Keeley also opposed the idea, with 91 objections to the bid, submitted by Jullian Mills who ran the Nottingham branch of the American chain for 21 years.
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However, despite the objection, the plans were approved and the Manchester Evening News traveled to Salford Quays to find out what people thought of the plans – and found far fewer objections than expected.
One man, who went by the name Kevin, was actually supportive of the idea and was thrilled to hear the plans had been approved. He said: “You’ve got strip clubs for the guys, hen nights for the girls, and nobody’s forcing anybody to go to those places, just like nobody’s forcing girls to work there.
“People pay for it, and if you go, you know what you want to do, it would be a little different if they were dancing in the street for everyone to see, but that’s not the case , people saying ‘Oh, the kids are going to see it, not if you don’t take them there. My brother lives in America and his girlfriend works at a Hooters and she likes the job – no one is forcing her to do it.
For others, seeing the dilapidated buildings that housed popular restaurants brought back into service was a big positive, even if the idea of a Hooters didn’t necessarily bring them joy. Cheryl Kinneir, who lives in the area, thought it was good to see the space used for something.
She said: “I think it’s a good idea, it’s a building that’s been empty for God knows how long. I’m sure there will be a lot of business on game night, or not. any night really, there are plenty of guys in Salford and anyone who gets off the tram on matchdays who will go for that sort of thing.
“I think it’s a good idea, certainly on match nights you see the Matchstick Man full, it’s quite busy most nights and there isn’t really anywhere else people can go drink, so to have another place, I’m sure it will become a lot of custom.”
Friends Sophie McCandish and Jack Hayes were fairly indifferent to the idea, although Jack said he had been to a Hooters in America and didn’t really consider the chain a huge deal. He said: “It’s better than them building a lot more apartments, I visited one in America, they have good chicken wings. I just think it has a bad reputation, probably to because of the way it was run before. The one I went to, it was really like a normal sports bar.”
Sophie added: “I’m not worried, and I don’t think I’m surprised either, they’re commercializing the area, there’s a new Turtle Bay coming to the docks around the Lowry. I’m glad it’s not right next door to me, never been bitten, sounds a bit seedy.”
Ben Briggs was also quite ambivalent about the concept, seeing both pros and cons in the plans. He said: “I’m really a little indifferent, it’s good that something is being done there, but I can see why people are a little upset about objectifying women, but it can also be very stimulating. The other two [establishments] are doing pretty well but I’m a little surprised for the area, I would have thought it would be better downtown.
“It’s a bit more of a family-friendly sort of place, there’s a family-friendly pub right next to a curry restaurant which is good for families too, and it’s also a booming area. “
There were definitely people who were still against the plans, with one man, who was too busy to stop and talk to us in full, saying he had “no idea why they’re doing it, it doesn’t matter.” ‘makes no sense’, while another laughed when we explained why the MEN was there, telling us he was strongly against the idea before heading to group practice.
Tallula Obrart, who also lives close to the site, said: “I think we’ve come a long way from taking advantage of women’s bodies, haven’t we? I understand that some people feel really empowered by that and I totally support that, I fully support sex workers in general and think it’s great to see people empowered, but the fact that it’s for a male gaze and enjoying women’s bodies has us a little backed off.
“I’m a feminist and I feel like these women who feel empowered by this can make money without being part of it, they can do it on their own and feel empowered by making money without a man taking a cut there are better ways to I’m a little surprised this was approved, if we put so much effort into protecting women’s safety we wouldn’t have women who would have afraid to go out at night for fear of being raped. We should focus our efforts on protecting women without taking advantage of it, but it’s a man’s world, isn’t it?
Women’s rights group Womanchester tweeted about the approval, expressing disappointment that the plans had been given the green light. The tweets read: “Disappointed, if not surprised, to be informed that Hooters have obtained their license in Salford. We will come back with our thoughts once we have read their reasoning. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s commitment to tackling the So sexism and misogyny are just words. At least we now know how little they care about the safety of women and girls in Greater Manchester.
Labor MP Barbara Keeley also tweeted: “Bid for a Hooters restaurant in Salford has been approved. I am deeply disappointed by this decision. This undoes the good work GM has done to end misogyny. sexist treatment of employees.”
Lewis Croden, a local resident who is also part of the local Conservative Party, said: ‘The Docks is a unique draw for anti-social behavior and crime across GM, as well as match day issues, the board of Salford must resolve them before adding more unknowns into the mix. The opinions of the people who live and work here are what matter, do they want this place? I can see further losses for Labor due to their cavalier interpretation of local consultation.
The new Hooters will be allowed to open from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. seven days a week, instead of the 1 a.m. opening time originally proposed to the licensing committee. The property will also ensure that staff regularly collect litter from the premises daily, with no outside loudspeakers permitted and outside seating closed after 10 p.m.
Following the decision, Mr Mills told MEN: ‘My team and I are absolutely delighted to be opening at Salford Quays and working in the city. With great food, service and sports, Hooters is a restaurant for everyone. We all look forward to opening the doors and welcoming you soon.”
His lawyer, Mr Craig, said: “I am so happy for Julian and his team. I worked alongside Julian throughout this process; from the request until last Friday’s hearing: He’s a great guy and a fantastic operator.
“Julian is also held in high regard by all of his staff, as demonstrated by the incredible women who came to the hearing to speak positively about him and their stay at Hooters restaurant in Nottingham, as well as the other women who are came to lend their They were the best defenders in the room.
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