The owl, as the signs hanging over Trade Street proclaim, has landed.
At least, it will soon enough.
After rumors and minor squabbles, construction has started at 123 W. Trade St. to transform the former Graduate Food & Pub into a Hooters – a nationwide chain known for its wings, scantily clad female servers and its owl logo. The establishment is scheduled to open sometime in early fall.
Opening in a site near Charlotte's center of Trade and Tryon streets, Hooters drew its share of proponents and protesters, the latter of whom never raised enough of a ruckus to prevent Hooters from taking over the spot.
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Earlier this year, area residents helped keep a new liquor store out of Gateway Village, and Coyote Ugly Saloon from moving to the Fifth and Church streets location from College Street.
Michael Smith, president of Center City Partners, said in June that he proposed another location to Hooters' representatives, which they rejected. Hooters' other Charlotte location is on South Boulevard.