Update: Here’s a copy of the menu which includes items such as Supa Fly Ho W/Chz, Sloppy Ho Brisket and tiny ho meals. You know… for the kids.
I know we should do our part to support female entrepreneurs, but what Waco businesswoman Lakita Evans considers a gimmick to get people into the doors of her new restaurant, Fat Ho Burgers, just doesn’t sit well with many Wacoans and ex Wacoans. “Oh, jeez,” Waco city manager Larry Groth told the Waco Tribune Herald. “I guess they’ll find out whether the community supports them soon.” The restaurant sits at the corner of South 11th Street and Ross and is expected to open this week. Evans says Waco is home to the restaurant chain Hooters so what’s wrong with a Fat Ho? I see her point, but I don’t patron Hooters, Twin Peaks, or any other female body part restaurant either, and I don’t get why other women do. Are the chicken wings worth being the subject of male food fantasies? Really? But Hooters is named for body parts, not the derogatory phrase used to describe a certain type of woman, her character even. Though one might argue that there are many hoes at Hooters, too. But should we support a woman who tries to make money off misogyny? ”I chose it because the economy is down, and what makes me smile is when it puts a smile on their face. They can come here have fun, eat, laugh at the menu and try to take their mind off of stuff,” Evans told a Waco TV station. “Sometimes black people, when they see something they’ll say woo that is a big ho, that ho right there is tight,” she told another station. ”So it’s catchy, like that.” Maybe they can take their mind off stuff, but who wants to work at a restaurant where Evans and employees might answer to “Hey, Fat Ho!” If she can dish it, she should be able to take it. And it does a disservice to her community at large. What are people thinking when they see other young, African American girls in the neighborhood?
Let’s be honest, there would be an outcry in Waco if this restaurant was called My Niggaz Noodles (and if it were in a predominantly white neighborhood). Why? Because THAT term is offensive. So is being called a ho, b*itch, slut or any other derogatory derivative in my mind, and just because a woman says it and laughs (like Hip Hop artist use the ‘n’ word in lyrics) doesn’t make it right. Wasn’t Don Imus fired for calling female basketball players “Nappy Headed Hoes”? Would the patrons laugh if a white guy from nearby Robinson pulled up in an a pickup with a rebel flag on the back and started ordering ho burgers from the hoes? Honestly, I’d rather eat at another cheap burger joint in Waco (and there are plenty), laugh, and not feel insulted when men walk in and see a group of women, or should we just accept being called hoes now.
But not everyone is as supportive of the burger banter. One person is offering free marketing and promotions help to Evans if she changes the name of the restaurant, and the same person started a Facebook group called Keep Waco Texas Positive. But some people aren’t as discriminatory and want to see a ‘ho’-in-the wall burger joint make it. “Fat. Ho. Burger. Cause, Ho’s got to eat too!” wrote one commenter on a message board. Still others see the humor, “If anything, the name of the restaurant almost makes eating there a novelty, and I think that this is the effect that Ms. Evans wished to achieve when she gave the restaurant this name.” But how long will the gimmick work? Isn’t it sad that a 23-year-old woman who put herself through college, who saved her own money for her own business, would be OK with being called a ho? Stay wacky Waco!