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Bristol Hooters Closes, Feminists Celebrate Victory Over 'Retro-Sexist Establishment'

First Posted: 02/09/2012 11:28 am Updated: 02/09/2012 4:33 pm

Though they're sorry 39 people have lost their jobs, feminists in Bristol, England, were pleased this week when the local branch of U.S. "breastaurant" chain Hooters closed amid financial troubles, the BBC reports.

The company that ran Bristol Hooters, Gallus Management Company Ltd, said the branch was closing due to poor business, mounting debts and a long-running legal dispute with building contractors, according to Blottr.com.

"The business had never achieved its turnover targets, and in addition had lost a considerable sum following a dispute with contractors engaged to refurbish adjacent premises," a spokesman for Gallus Management told the BBC.

Gallus Management has faced harsh criticism from feminists and other Bristol residents ever since applying for a license to open Hooters Bristol back in 2010, according to the Bristol Evening Post.

Prior to its opening in October of that year, protesters gathered more than 700 signatures petitioning the Bristol City Council to ban the restaurant, but the city's licensing committee approved the restaurant on the grounds it "was offering something different."

Feminists nevertheless continued protesting the chain, sometimes becoming the target of online criticism from supporters of the restaurant.

"In the past I have received hate messages on my blog (by 'hate messages' I mean comments that use gender hate language) and during the period when we were actively campaigning against the opening of Hooters I received a lot of hate messages," Sian Norris of the Bristol Feminist Network wrote in the Guardian. "These included threats, nasty misogynistic comments and, at one low point, abusive comments about my family."

Nevertheless, many Bristol residents continued voicing opposition to Hooters Bristol, especially after an incident last year in which the restaurant was accused of serving a 3D "Boob Cake" to a 12-year-old boy celebrating his birthday there.

Norris believes the closing is a positive step forward at a time when a number of "lad's mags," namely the online magazine Uni Lad, are increasingly perpetuating misogyny in England.

"I am sorry that people lost their jobs and sincerely hope that they find new work soon, but I believe that the closure of Hooters is fundamentally a positive step," Norris wrote. "It shows that a retro-sexist establishment is not welcome in our city."

WATCH: Promotional video of from Hooters Bristol:

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Filed by Jocelyn Richard  |