NBA player plans to open Hooters in Russia

MGN Online
Friday, April 18, 2014 - 9:00am

 

Andrei Kirilenko, the National Basketball Association player known as AK-47, plans to open five Hooters franchise restaurants in his native Russia.

Kirilenko, a player for the Brooklyn Nets, told CNNMoney his first restaurant will open in Moscow on April 26.

Hooters spokeswoman Kelly Propst confirmed that the 6-foot-9 player is a franchisee, who is bringing Hooters to Russia for the first time. After the Moscow debut, he plans to open four more Hooters restaurants in Russia over the next three or four years, she said.

Kirilenko, 33, signed on with the Nets as a free agent last year and is now in a contract lasting through 2015. His nickname stems from the initials of his name and the numeral 47 on his jersey.

The AK-47 is the well-known assault rifle invented in the former Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov, who died last year.

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Hooters is an international chain of sports bar restaurants owned by Chanticleer Holdings.

The chain is also known for the so-called Hooters Girl waitresses, who serve masculine-friendly fare like beer and wings while wearing skimpy orange shorts. As part of its aggressive branding, the company offers a calendar of Hooters Girls and once had an airline called Hooters Air.

The company on its website says that it is proud of its 300,000-plus alumnae who graduated to become "mothers, wives, career-minded businesswomen and entrepreneurs, many becoming doctors, lawyers, authors, government officials and community leaders."

The chain originated in Clearwater, Fla., and has 430 restaurants located throughout the U.S. as well 27 other countries, including Mexico, China, Japan, Singapore and South Africa.

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