Towson Hooters abruptly closes

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Photo by Ed Gunts

The Hooters on Joppa Road in Towson is no more.

The eatery, one of more than more than 420 Hooters locations in 42 states and 29 countries, per the chain’s corporate page, shut down with little notice this past Sunday. Signage has since been removed out front at 1630 E. Joppa Road, though there’s a note posted on the front door.

“We will be permanently closed as of 4PM 6/23/19,” it says. “Thank you for your patronage!”

The restaurant has been active on social media all month, including a Facebook post Saturday morning that its merch was buy-one-get-one free.

A phone line for the restaurant went unanswered Tuesday. A public relations firm repping Hooters has not responded to requests for comment on the closure. The company has already removed the location from its running list online.

Hooters of Towson, like hundreds of others Hooterses, specializes in chicken wings and a brand reliant on putting scantily clad servers front and center. The Baltimore County location has experienced its sudden death as the chain’s business strategy comes under growing scrutiny.

“Hooters was founded in 1983, and though treating women like crap has long been a national pastime, it calcified a particular male fantasy of strip club lite,” wrote Jaya Saxena in a critical look for GQ last year. “Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by hot women who bring you fried food and draw little hearts on your check? But now it’s 2018, and while things for women are still largely shit—the ongoing pay gap, the attacks on reproductive health, a new story every day about men who have been getting away with sexual harassment for decades—it’s hard to imagine someone successfully pitching a ‘breastaurant’ today.”

While Business Insider previously reported that the number of locations was falling from 2012 through 2016, the same data, updated through last year, indicates there’s been a rebound, albeit with fewer U.S. franchises and more international and corporate-owned locations.

Hooters of Towson’s nearest direct competitor, The Tilted Kilt, another “breastaurant” chain differentiated by ambiguously mixed Irish-Scottish-American pub flare, met a similar fate in March 2018 when its White Marsh location shut down right after St. Patrick’s Day.

But fear not, ogling diners. The Hooters at Baltimore’s struggling Harborplace is alive and well, and there’s yet another to visit on Baltimore Avenue out in Laurel.

Ed Gunts contributed reporting.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
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