Monday, October 25, 2010
Hooters Tokyo Grand Opening
Toot toot! The Black Ships are once again sauntering into the harbor, this time all the more wiser for wear. After their imperial degree to adopt bro culture with the X-Box and Abercrombie and Fitch fell on deaf ears, they’ve regrouped and come back with something more pleasing to the Japanese palette.
The preferred method of transport for White (and now Yellow) Trash.
Hooters Japan may sound like an oxymoron, while in practice the two go together like spicy wings and blue cheese. Legitimate doubts about proportions aside, the real mystery is why Hooters didn’t launch in Japan sooner. The franchise embodies all things holy to the country’s male populace. Let me break it down:
Not pictured: Thick ribbed socks of +10 fetishism.
All it took for an otherwise blasé and overpriced chain like Anna Miller’s to get their entry permit stamped was cute costumes that were cleverly cut directly below the breast. The tank top and hot pants combination share the same basic concept, but in this case is augmented by the hereditary obsession with school bloomers. Guaranteed millions overnight!
From Obon to Pink Lady to Para Para and beyond, choreographed dancing has long served as a means to unite the hearts of the audience and bridge the gap between the attendee and the artist. When the girls spontaneously break out into the YMCA, back in the States it’s laughed off as goofy and mostly harmless. Here it’s like being at the backstage rehearsal of your favorite idol group. And who can go back to AKB48 after seeing HTR36-26-36?
Girls and Beer
My tongue told me to go for the Hoegaarden, while my heart told me to go for the Coor’s Light for the authentic American experience.
There will always be establishments dedicated to serving schmucks that are willing to dole out the cash for the honor of breathing the same air as a female. Yet these businesses have largely been one-dimensional affairs that choke the potential clientele into a bottleneck. Nobody goes to a Maid Café for the cooking (even if the omelet rice has ketchup hearts on it), and only the recklessly rich frequent cabaret clubs for a few drinks.
Maid cafes make me feel like I'm a player in a 3rd-world puppet show. This, however, is too surreal to be awkward.
Hooters marries the need for good food with the demand for pleasing eye candy as never before. It represents a previously invisible demographic—The ordinary working dude, too grown up for moe and too wise for hostesses, who just want to relax with his crew and a brew and watch cute chicks without any hang-ups. Hooters is tasty, fun, and best of all, doesn’t make you feel like a total weirdo.
Of course, there's more to Hooters then girls, girls, girls. The menu should be first and foremost in the mind of any self respecting slob. It'll have your guts doing backflips.
Authentic wings to set your mouth ablaze. "Spicy" means spicy, not "a few hits of Tabasco."
Fresh sour cream and guac. These quesadillas are the real deal.
Fried pickles? In my Japan? I must be dreaming.
Real nacho cheese, straight from the pump.
While the bar may be set low, Hooters outdid themselves in every conceivable way for their opening day festivities. I'm not talking about the red carpet hoopla that was the black-tie ribbon cutting, or how they sounded the call for gaijin waitresses to hype up the foreign entertainment experience. This is all industry standard.
Signatures are necessary so you can prove to your friends that you talked to a female.
The big payoff came in the form of their two top calender girls, flown in from the States for a meet and greet with the first thirty customers in line. Voidmare is so NASCAR that when the rest of us were returning to the office on Monday, he was camping out for the sake of spectacle.
Dude she totally wants you, she drew a heart!
They even transferred in super employees from back home who served as trainers that made sure that the girls were all perky, all the time. If they ever revive the woman's prison genre as a musical, the inmates would be played by Hooters girls. Not that the atmosphere felt the least bit exploitative, mind you. The experience is more Bikini Carwash than Showgirls. You don't have to feel like Tokyo scum to enjoy yourself.
Though I wouldn't go bragging about it to my friends, either. At least, not with a straight face.