Hoots Wings planned four N.J. locations as part of East Coast franchise push

Hoots Wings, a fast casual wing concept from the parent of Hooters, has signed a deal for six franchise units on the East Coast, including four in New Jersey, it announced Tuesday.

The unit of HOA Brands aims to bring 50 locations to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island over the next five years. The new agreement includes locations slated for Atlantic City, Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark — along with King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and Providence, Rhode Island — by 2023.

The franchisee is Phillip Moran, a 40-year restaurant industry veteran who has owned and operated Hooters restaurants on the East Coast for more than 20 years.

“Hooters put wings on the map — it has a 35-plus-year history of the best wings on the planet,” Moran said in a prepared statement. “With Hooters’ backing and a fast, easily prepared and delivered best-selling product at its base, Hoots Wings is set up for success — this deal is a natural progression for me to help accelerate Hoots’ growth efforts on the East Coast.”

The first of the locations is slated to open in late September at 525 Washington Blvd., Jersey City.

“Phillip is an industry veteran who understands not only the brad, but also the excitement that surrounds Hoots Wings,” Sal Melilli, HOA’s CEO, said in a statement. “He knows the value of Hoots’ diverse menu and is ready to bring it to East Coast communities where he has spent over 20 years growing Hooters’ presence. Northern New Jersey has a large population of loyal Hooters customers and wing enthusiasts, and we’re excited to bring Hoots Wings to this community.”

Hoots currently has locations in Florida, Georgia and Illinois, and also has plans to open in Texas.