Pete Sweeney (more chengdu)|
For those not familiar, Hooters is an American chain restaurant that hires large-breasted, flirtatious waitresses, dresses them in orange short shorts and tight tank tops, and sends them forth to serve you their famous chicken wings. The chicken wings serving as a handy excuse to those who need one for going there. It’s tacky, and if you believe this perpetuates the patriarchy, you may be right. Regardless, since the concept can be explained easily in any language, Hooters has quickly spread to some 23 or so countries. There are five of them in China; the Chengdu location opened last month to a fanfare of cheerleaders, banging drums, and more orange than the Queen’s holiday in Holland. When we showed up, the place was mobbed with local families and couples noshing on wings and chugging pitchers of Guinness! Every half an hour or so the waitresses assembled for a saccharine song and dance routine (“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine . . .”).
We imitated the other customers and ordered beer and the wings (10 for 89rmb) and a variety of other cocktails. Everything was good, the wings were hot and meaty, and the service was flirtatious until a female friend showed up, at which point the waitresses stopped signing their names on our napkins and got back to business.
Apart from the wings, the menu is all-American bar food at all-American prices. A small bottle of Qingdao is 35 kuai, Guinness is 58, and pitchers run in the hundreds. If you are going to drink there and are looking to save money, don’t. If you want to maximize the bang for your kuai, go with the cocktails, which are strong, well-mixed, and not much more expensive than the beer. If you want to go for top-of-the-trailer-shelf, however, blow your rent on the ultimate meal: 10 wings and a bottle of Dom Perignon for 1888 RMB.