The Hooters restaurant chain, known for its scantily clad waitresses, has been sold to a group of investors led by a Coastal Carolina University alumnus.
The sale means that for the first time in more than two decades, Horry County's Brooks family will not own Hooters of America.
Charlotte-based Chanticleer Holdings LLC and a consortium of investors bought the privately owned chain for an undisclosed sum, completing the transaction by Jan. 24, according to a Hooters press release.
Bob Brooks, a Loris native, bought Hooters in 1984 when it only had two locations and expanded it into a global chain. Brooks died in 2006 in Myrtle Beach, leaving his ownership of Hooters to his son, current Hooters CEO Coby Brooks, and an underage daughter. The chain was sold as part of efforts to settle Brooks' estate.
A legal battle that began in Horry County Probate Court in December between Chanticleer and a rival bidder appears set to continue, but it did not stop the sale.
Brooks' sister Olis Jayroe said she hopes the sale of the chain leads to a faster settlement of the estate.
"I just hope they finalize (the estate) soon, and it's worked out," said Jayroe, a Myrtle Beach resident. "I'm glad to see that it's about to come to fruition and it will be something behind us."
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