Friday, January 15, 2010

No Hooter's in Stavanger

An overwhelming majority in the city council of Stavanger voted Thursday to deny license to serve alcohol to the first Hooter's restaurant in the city, but the politicians avoided all controversy in their discussion. They simply claimed that they did not want another licensed restaurant within the city centre.

Hooter's has stirred up a lot of controversy in Norway's oil capital. On Facebook there has been groups for and against Hooter's. The pro-group has managed to get 10000 fans , whereas those critical of the restaurant's image count around 1000 on Facebook.

The possible result of tonight's vote has been no secret. Politicians chose, however, in their hypocrisy, not to go the core of the matter, i.e. to discuss the controversial image of Hooter's, as reason to deny its license. They simply defined the location of the new restaurant to be within the so called "skjenkering" i.e. the area where politicians want to restrict the number of licensed bars and restaurant to avoid problems connected to alcohol consumption.

So to avoid further alcohol related problems, the city council voted against Hooter's. The three votes in favour of the restaurant came from the representative of Fremskrittspartiet, Norway's ultra right party.

This may however not be the last word in this case. Tore Lie, the developer behind Hooter's in Stavanger, claims that the location cannot be regarded within the central area of the city, and that politicians cannot use this as an argument to deny Hooter's license to sell alcohol.

The whole matter may end up in court, as the investors behind Hooter's Stavanger suspect foul play.

I will keep you posted!

(Photo: Inside of a Hooters restaurant in Chattanooga, Tennessee by CrazyLegsKC)