Would you like a side of hot man with those shrimp dogs? You can now order that up at Tallywackers, a male version of the "breastaurant" concept popularized by Hooters that opened last month in Dallas.
Comedian Amy Schumer did a send-up of the Hooters franchise in a 2013 "Inside Amy Schumer" skit that featured a fictional restaurant called O'Nutters, where scantily clad men in form-fitting uniforms served food and drinks while flirting with female customers.
But Tallywackers is no joke.
With menu items like truffle fries and croque monsieur sandwiches, Tallywackers appears to be going for a slightly more chi-chi demographic than its male-aimed counterpart, where hot wings and beer feature prominently. But the stars of this destination restaurant are clearly not on the menu; rather, they are serving -- in short-shorts and tight shirts -- what's on the menu.
Although its ads suggest otherwise, shirts on waiters are mandatory for sanitation reasons, Tallywackers owner Rocky Duke told radio host Kidd Kraddock, lest chest hair fall into someone's crab dip or calamari salad.
But, apparently, those shirts come off -- a lot. As one Yelp reviewer speculated, that could be one of the reasons why service is slow. "The service wasn't terrible. They were trying, in-between shirtless photo ops -- many shirtless photo ops."
Male objectification by straight women still seems laughable in a world where eating cheese fries with guys while staring at a female "breastaurant" worker in tight shorts is mainstream. After all Hooters, which started in the early 1980s, now has more than 460 restaurants across the U.S.
As one YouTube commenter wrote about the "O'Nutters" skit, "Hooters is considered completely normal by most people, but when everything is exactly the same with the genders flipped, the exact same people find the idea completely ridiculous. Doesn't that tell you something?"
But at least one man doesn't see Tallywackers as a sign of progress. Unlike actor Chris Pratt ("Jurassic World"), who recently joked that objectifying men was a sign of equality between the sexes, a commenter on a Yelp post announcing the arrival of Tallywackers wasn't having it.
"I've worked as a server at normal restaurants and have had women customers gawking, flirting, making dirty jokes," he wrote. "Sometimes it's just fine, but it can get to be too much and feel kind of degrading. I couldn't even imagine how degrading it would feel to work at this type of place."
But Deanna L. of Grapevine, Texas, was doing no such handwringing in her Yelp review: "My gal pals and I went last night...HAD A BLAST!!!! The guys are super nice, and super cute !!! We were lucky enough to have two waiters - Alex and Andy -thumbs up guys :)..And yes they are scantly [sic] clad as someone mentioned, but that is a good thing."