Gardere Partner Dewey A. Brackin represented Hooters restaurant chain at a recent hearing against the Downtown Fort Worth Neighborhood Committee over its application for a liquor license from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. The Fort Worth protest group attempted to stop the TABC from granting a liquor license to the restaurant and sports bar, expressing concerns about the restaurant’s proximity to historic churches and downtown residences, as well as concerns about over-serving customers and bringing in disorderly conduct late at night. Hooters, which owns 43 locations in Texas, including several in Dallas-Fort Worth, argued that it’s a very family-friendly restaurant that isn’t known for drawing a wild and dangerous crowd.
During the hearing, Mr. Brackin stated that the location in which Hooters is licensing for meets zoning requirements. There are 40 nearby restaurants that have liquor permits, including a nearby late-night club.
“There’s really nothing unusual about Hooters except the name Hooters, right? If we had called it Mark and Dewey’s place, would we have had the issues we have?” Mr. Brackin asked Mark Whittle, Hooters’ vice president of development. “Probably not,” Mr. Whittle responded.
Both sides now have until Sept. 14 to present written final arguments to Administrative Law Judge Robert Jones, who will make a decision within 60 days. The judgment will then be sent to the TABC state office for final approval or denial.
For more information about the case and to listen to Mr. Brackin’s opening statement, click here.