As legend (and the corporate bio on their official website) has it, a Hooters co-founder anchored his boat off Clearwater Beach and swam to shore on a dare to try to entice the winner of a Jose Cuervo bikini contest to become the first-ever Hooters girl. He presented her with a business card rolled up in a plastic bag, and Lynne Austin eventually became the first in a line of thousands of waitresses to don the company’s signature orange short shorts.
Austin will return to the original Hooters location in Clearwater tonight as part of the restaurant chain’s 30th anniversary celebration.
The “delightfully tacky, yet unrefined” restaurant specializing in hot wings and cold pitchers first opened its doors Oct. 4, 1983, at 2800 Gulf to Bay Blvd. Today, there are more 450 Hooters operating in countries around the world.
Beginning at 6 tonight, all Hooters locations will celebrate by welcoming Hooters Girls from the past 30 years, who will return to the restaurant where they worked. One lucky person at each restaurant will win free chicken wings for a year when former Buccaneers coach John Gruden announces the winners during a commercial airing on Fox Sports 1 at 8 p.m. Everyone who shows up to a location tonight gets a free ticket to enter.
At the Original Hooters in Clearwater, R&B and soul singer Justin Rhodes will perform. Miss Hooters International 2013, Marissa Raisor, will be there to sign the Hooters 2014 calendar, along with some of the other calendar models.