Hooters will open its doors on Guam in early 2007.

Kazunari Endo representative for Paradise Wings LLC which will do business as Hooters Guam and president of Inhouse Creative Inc. told the Journal that the restaurant would be located in Tumon. Paradise Wings was looking at several options and real estate issues were still being negotiated.

As for the opening "There is an aggressive schedule. It is already August so we are hopefully looking at a February or March opening " he said. According to Endo the announcement of 8 000 Marines coming to Guam was not a factor in the decision to open a Hooters restaurant on Guam.

Endo said "Hooters is a casual dining restaurant. The slogan of the restaurant is "Delightfully tacky yet unrefined." That is what it is. It is a fun restaurant concept. It has comfort food on its menu. It’s got oysters and burgers but what it is famous for is its hot wings the Hooters hot wings."

Although one of the biggest draws for hooters are the female servers Endo said there is a lot of misconception. "It’s not a sexual type of restaurant. It’s not a bar. It is a restaurant. It’s no different than any other themed restaurant. The difference is Hooters’ theme has beautiful women and casual food. There is a big push to welcome families and female customers just as much as men. Obviously the men are attracted to the female servers but hopefully it goes beyond that " Endo said.

Besides the restaurant he said that the Hooter girls are involved in a lot of community affairs outside of the restaurant. "They are like the girl next door rather than something with a negative connotation. The Hooters’ concept is that these girls are more like cheerleaders and the Hooters restaurant is a sports restaurant. You go there to watch sports drink and eat some wings."

The menu for Hooters Guam will have the same items as the national restaurants with the addition of a few local favorites. "We’re not going to replace anything but we have the option to enhance the menu with some local dishes that we think might work. What those are at this point we don’t know yet. We’re going to develop that before opening."

He said "My recommendation would to not have any expectations good or bad but to anticipate the opening of the restaurant and to enjoy the experience that this restaurant will put together and provide to its customers. You’re going to find that the menu is enjoyable. It’s good food. The Hooters girls are obviously going to be beautiful and sexy but they are the girls next door who work in the community. We will have a benchmark of who can be a Hooters girl. It’s not only going to be beauty driven. They also have to be eloquent and have good service training."

Endo would not say how big the restaurant would be but he did say that it would be able to seat at least 180 people and could employ 50 to 60 people. More than $1 million will be spent into getting the restaurant up and running he said. "That’s including everything. That’s including building it and getting it ready for opening day."

Paradise Wings will have the franchise for Guam the region and the Philippines. Endo said of opening other Hooters locations "Saipan is tricky so we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully the economy there will bounce back. People have a lot of confidence in Guam’s economy rebounding and that’s why companies like Hooters or any other new businesses that open in 2006 or 2007 are going to aggressively take advantage of this rebounding economy. As far as the Philippines goes we’re aiming to open that in 2007 so we’ll see how that goes."

Including Endo there are a total of five partners involved with Paradise Wings. Three of the investors are local; one resides in Los Angeles and another is from Asia. The other partners are Brian Y. Suhr president and chief executive officer of South Pacific Petroleum Corp.; Michael S. Hahm executive vice president of SPPC; Atty. Charles Isgar of Los Angeles; and the investor from Asia.

The first Hooters opened Oct. 4 1983 in Clearwater Fla. Hooters of America Inc. is the Atlanta-based operator and franchiser of more than 425 Hooters locations in 46 states Argentina Aruba Austria Brazil Canada Chile China Costa Rica England Germany Greece Guatemala Mexico Peru Singapore Switzerland Taiwan Trinidad and Venezuela. The privately held corporation owns 119 units.

Hooters also has close ties with its community partners including through Hooters Community Endowment Fund. It is the ninth largest corporate endowment fund in Georgia and has contributed more than $8 million to local and national charities since its inception in 1992.

According to the Hooters Web site www.hooters.com:

"¢ Hooters was recently ranked 43rd in Restaurants and Institutions magazine for top chain restaurant concepts in America based on 200 sales. Hooters was also ranked 16th in full service chains.

"¢ Of Hooters 1 500 exempt employees (management from the restaurants and corporate office) 30% or 450 are female.

"¢ Robert H. Brooks [1996] chief executive officer of Hooters America Inc. was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in 1996.

"¢ Hooters has long term celebrity endorsement contracts for seasonal sports promotions for national TV and radio ads with Lee Corso (10 years) Dick Vitale (four years) and Terry Bradshaw.

"¢ Robert H. Brooks chairman of the board passed away in his home in Myrtle Beach S. C. on July 15 from natural causes. He was affectionately referred to as Hooters World Wide Wing Commander. He was 69 years old. MBJ