Hempstead Turnpike has been plagued with another vacancy as the Hooters restaurant closed its doors abruptly Sunday evening.
On Wednesday afternoon, pedestrians looked on at the Hempstead Turnpike eatery in confusion as they saw handwritten closed signs on the entrance doors and the large Hooters sign covered.
Edward McCabe, an attorney for Strix Restaurant Group, which owns the franchise rights to Hooters locations on Long Island and Queens, said that the East Meadow business has been consistently losing money.
"The store has been in serious decline in East Meadow for several years," McCabe said. "The brand has become stale and the last two years it was losing substantial amounts of money."
McCabe said that the restaurant opened in East Meadow around 1995 and that the Nassau Coliseum was the main reason that the eatery was brought to East Meadow.
"The store was built because of the Nassau Coliseum, but now there are not as many shows there and the Islanders are not playing there anymore," he said. "That really hurt business."
Strix Restaurant Group owns the franchise rights to Hooters locations in Farmingdale, Fresh Meadows and Islandia. McCabe said that changes will be made to all three locations.
"The Hooters locations in Fresh Meadows and Farmingdale will be turned into a restaurant we started called Bud's Ale House and the location in Islandia will be called 58's because it is off of Exit 58 on the Long Island Expressway. The Hooters brand is just not selling on Long Island."
Millie Jones, president of the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce, said that the closing is unfortunate and that she wants to see more businesses open in East Meadow.
"There are so many vacancies right now and it is not helping East Meadow," she said. "I would love to see more mom and pop stores open and people supporting them more than they have before."
What do you think about Hooters closing in East Meadow? What do you think should fill the vacant property?