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Feast of Eden

Beyond the heavenly wings, other eats, drinks and wait staff, Hooters continues to thrive because it sticks to what it knows while always looking for ways to be tastefully innovative.

Rob Harmon
Marc Rains
August 29, 2017

Hooters has been around for years, but it’s still a great recipe for a good time. All over the country, they’ve got an established reputation for exceptional wings and wait staff. In Tulsa, however, the enthusiasm for Hooters has been much more about the fun community that it fosters every single day.

Ashley Massey, the assistant general manager of the Hooters on 61st and Memorial, doesn’t hesitate to say that her experience at the location has taught her that there’s a lot to love about Hooters beyond the fantastic wings and Hooters girls.

“From day one,” she says, “I didn’t know what I wanted out of the job, but the longer I was with the company and the more I saw all the charity work we do, the fundraising for breast cancer awareness, all the opportunities they give their staff, truly makes me see how great a company Hooters is in general.”

Massey says the atmosphere is one that the kitchen and wait staff love coming in day in and day out, and that pays dividends in customer appreciation. It affects the experience their customers have and keeps them coming back.

“When you staff yourself with people who truly care and want to be here,” she says, “you’re going to be successful and give great customer service. If the girls are happy and want to be here every day and are in a good mood, it puts everybody in a good mood.”

And of her general manager, Christy Deason, Massey says that the whole vibe customers can expect every time they come in starts at the top. “Christy has put her heart and soul into this place and that makes a huge difference.”

In the last few years, they’ve spent a tremendous amount of time and money into upgrading the bar and seating areas.

Build Your Own Burger (Photo: Marc Rains)
Build Your Own Burger (Photo: Marc Rains)

Of course, says Massey, the food Hooters serves is always good because of a high level of consistency and attention to excellence. A lot of time and effort goes into making sure the food is just the way customers expect. It’s always the real reason why people come back to the restaurant, she says.

“Our kitchen staff gets the food out fast,” says Massey, with unbridled zeal. “It looks good and it tastes good. Some of the kitchen staff have been here for five, seven or 15 years. They get here early in the morning and start prepping the products. Our produce and things like pico de gallo and guacamole are prepped fresh every day. All of our wings come in fresh. We get deliveries twice a week and they’re constantly making sure the food we get is good quality food to begin with.”

Hooters is still one of the best places to get wings around town, Massey says, because the company sticks to what they know but also looks for ways to be innovative.

“Within the past year or year and a half,” she says, “Hooters has come out with a new product called smoked wings. There’s a lot that goes into making those. The wings have to be prepped and marinated for 12 hours. After that, they’re put in the smoker so they have that awesome smoky flavor. When the guest orders them, the ones that have cooled down are put in again for a re-crisping that gives them the great texture that people love.”

What’s so innovative about them, Massey says, is the calorie count.

The atmosphere is one that the kitchen and wait staff love coming in day in and day out, and that pays dividends in customer appreciation. (Photo: Marc Rains)
The atmosphere is one that the kitchen and wait staff love coming in day in and day out, and that pays dividends in customer appreciation. (Photo: Marc Rains)

“They have all the flavors that the original wings have, but they’re half the calories because they’re not fried. We also released three different dry-rubs that are zero-calories. It’s a great option for all those who are a part of the new health craze.”

Hooters still has their regular fried wings with all the favorite flavors like original barbecue, medium barbecue, hot barbecue, the unique and flavorful honey Thai chili pepper sauce, the sweet smoked cherry flavor, naked blackened and chipotle garlic, all with various levels of hotness from mild, medium, hot to Three Mile Island, and the extremely hot 911 sauce.

Surprisingly, the Tulsa Hooters also has an ever-expanding seafood menu that Massey says is a real crowd-pleaser to new customers and regulars alike.

“Our crab legs are really good, as well as our steamed shrimp,” says Massey. “Our mahi tacos are amazing. We get in oysters, fresh, so sometimes we do run out of them. We can’t overstock them so when we do have them, they’re fresh and good.”

Another unexpected fact that Massey says would be something the average person may not understand about the Hooters here in Tulsa is that it’s not just for the guys.

“We get families. We get everybody. We get guys from out of town on business trips. People come in for the big games or the big fights. We have parents bring in a ton of children for their kid’s eighth birthday parties,” she says. “I’ve been here for five years and I’ve seen this place turn into family for so many customers. People have made some of their best friends at Hooters.”

8108 E. 61st St. | Tulsa
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-Midnight
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.