(July 10, 2020) Hooters in West Ocean City, which opened in 2012 when an ancient Mayan prophecy had some anticipating the end times, has reached the closing point in 2020 after profitability declined during the covid-19 pandemic.
Matt Ortt Companies co-founder Ralph DeAngelus said the Hooters on westbound Route 50 at Keyser Point Road has been shuttered, with property owner Matt Odachowski resuming oversight to redevelop the location.
“It just didn’t work,” he said. “It became a victim of the coronavirus.”
Matt Ortt said Hooters management opted to depart after recognizing profit and loss statements were trending in the latter direction this season because of capacity limitations.
“There was an agreement to turn the building back over to Matt Odachowski and that’s why it was done so quickly,” he said.
Lacking significant outdoor dining space, the Route 50 Hooters was limited to a handful of tables before Maryland expanded reopening plans to include indoor service at half capacity.
“It’s a neighborhood bar and if you don’t have the bar seating, it just doesn’t work,” he said. “It’s the local ‘Cheers’ [and] you can see that by the comments on Facebook.”
Ortt said Hooters management had held out hope that Hogan would move the state into the next phase of reopening plans.
“Now, we feel like with the news of the coronavirus and everything else, there’s no way we’re going to get back to even 75-percent capacity or bar seating before the end of the year,” he said. “ How are you going to pay a full year’s rent with the year half gone?”
On a bright note, Ortt said staff members from the closed West Ocean City location have moved to the Ocean City Hooters on the Boardwalk at Fifth Street.
“Tough decisions have to be made and in the interest of the landlord, who can do something else with the property, it was best to just let that location go,” he said. “It’s probably not the best time to get into the restaurant business.”