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Hooters restaurant in Gainesville closes due to unmet licensing agreements

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Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:30 pm

If you planned on eating Hooters’ famous wings anytime soon in Gainesville, think again.

Earlier this week both the Gainesville and Ocala locations of the sports bar closed, leaving only signs in the windows to let customers know.

The local franchises were two of nine total restaurants to close because of expired license agreements, according to Alexis Aleshire, Hooters of America spokeswoman.

Aleshire wrote in an e-mail that both Owl’s Eyes Inc., owner of seven Hooters in the Southeast, including the ones in Ocala and Gainesville, and WOSG LLC,  had not met requirements to uphold their temporary license issued by Hooters.

She said that neither company kept up with compliance with the agreements or payments that were due to Hooters of America. She did not detail what those agreements were. She also did not reply when asked how much money was owed or how many jobs were lost with the closing of the nine locations.

“We regret that Owl’s Eyes’ and WOSG’s noncompliance with their obligations has led to the closing of these restaurants and we intend to consider the markets affected for new Hooters development in the future,” she wrote.

Aleshire also said that the change had nothing to do with the new owners of Hooters of America, Chanticleer Holdings, an investment company. Instead, she pointed to  a long-term issue with both franchises. Representatives from Owl’s Eyes could not be reached for comment.

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