On Tuesday, the VC Star reported that Thousand Oaks Councilwoman Claudia Bill-de la Peña wrote a letter dated November 15th to property managers of Janss Marketplace, asking them to reconsider leasing space for a Hooters restaurant located in the parking lot adjacent to the mall.
This has been quite a drama for Thousand Oaks in 2011 since it was announced back in March that there was a possibility of Hooters occuping the space left vacant by Fuddruckers over a year and a half ago. Ultimately it was determined that there are no legal issues with a Hooters and they were moving forward.
Councilwoman Bill-de la Peña wrote her letter based on "'The opposition to an eatery is unprecedented, it is historical," she said. "In light of the opposition, I felt I needed to make the Janss mall aware of that, as if they weren't already. I felt with the outrage of the community ... I had to speak on behalf of those opposed.'"
We did our own survey here on CVG and the final outcome was roughly 30% of respondents were against opening a Hooters, 55% were thumbs up and the remainder pretty much had no opinion.
There are over 460 Hooters restaurants arouund the world. Hooters has operated since 1983. I ate at the Long Beach Hooters with my kids and frankly it wasn't a lot different than taking them to the local Cronies (love their beer), Draughts (also great beer), Tipsy Goat (beer me again) or Ladyface Ale (yep, great beer there too). They were not truamatized by the experience, nor did they ask about or expand upon the definition of the word Hooters (had they asked, the hooting sounds of owls would have of course been the response).
This shopping center has been part of the community for over 50 years. Janss Mall (as it was originally called) was built in 1960 with about 200,000 sq ft of space. In 1969 the 198,000 sq ft Sears was added, along with another 90,000 sq ft of shop space. Then in 1994 another 160,000 sq ft was added and it was renamed Janss Marketplace.
Janss Marketplace recently donated $15,000 to the Conejo Recreation & Park District youth programs. The funds were raised from the Reign of Terror Haunted House at the mall.
Let me digress. Yes there was a lot of opposition to the Hooters. But those not opposed were not asked to submit a response. Most people I know aren't in the habit of sending letters to City Hall to tell them about a new business they "approve" of, particularly when there are no laws preventing the business from opening. Most of us approve/disapprove of local businesses with our wallets, and that usually works fine.
Let the Hooters open. If you don't like it, simply don't eat there, tell your friends and neighbors not to eat there, etc. Capitalism is pretty efficient in that way. It worked for Fuddruckers quite well.