Hooters pranks with April Fool’s ‘Roosters’ announcement, but don’t get excited: Charlotte’s very real Rooster’s is no friend to gays

For a moment on Wednesday, all seemed well in the world.

“When the opportunity to expand the beloved Hooters concept came about, we jumped at the chance of answering the call from men and women across America,” Andrew Pudduck, vice president of marketing, Hooters of America, said in a press release yesterday. “With such an overwhelming interest, I can’t believe we didn’t capitalize on the demand sooner; but now the people have spoken and we have responded: Roosters Boys are here to stay!”

We were all more than ready to welcome the new Roosters Boys with open arms.

But to the disappointment and chagrin of all who find the male physique worthy of adoration, Hooters’ announcement of its all-male version of its famed restaurant chain turned out to be nothing but a big fat joke.

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Happy April Fool’s Day!

Darn.

But there’s a very real Roosters, right here in Charlotte, and their corporate positions on LGBT equality are no April Fool’s joke.

Charlotte’s two Rooster’s locations — in Uptown and in SouthPark — are owned by Jim Noble, of the eponymous Noble’s Restaurants and pastor of Restoring Place Church.

Noble’s also owns and operates The King’s Kitchen, also in Uptown, and Winston-Salem’s Noble’s Grille.

And Noble was one of several signatories on a letter in late February calling upon Charlotte City Council members to reject LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances that would have prevented restaurant owners like Noble from refusing to serve LGBT clients and customers.

The letter — a pretty much word-for-word copy of a legal memo drafted by the far-right Alliance Defending Freedom — repeated homophobic and transphobic scare tactics, falsely linking transgender people and others in the LGB community to sexual predation.

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The letter also claimed that non-discrimination protections are discriminatory. Against whom? You guessed it: Christians who want the right to discriminate. I know, I know. The hoops one’s mind must jump through to get through that logic. Whew.

Noble wasn’t the only highly-placed or well-known business owner signing the anti-LGBT letter, as we reported back in the lead up to the March 2 Council vote.

Jim Riggins, president of large Charlotte IT company Technocom, also signed the letter. Technocom’s clients have included the Charlotte Regional Partnership and Levine Properties. The company is also a sponsor of the Charlotte Hornets.

Also included were the principal, Doug Stephan, and vice president, Tim Hill, of Vision Ventures, a large real estate development company that once owned Uptown’s EpiCentre and currently owns Ballantyne Village.

So, dearest gay customer, if you’re looking for great wings with a side of hot Roosters Boys, well, keep looking. And certainly don’t try out your unique order on the waiters at the real Rooster’s.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.