• When it was a Waddle's sign, the hands used to be eating utensils.
  • Background used to be more of a burgundy/maroon color.
  • This lettering used to be pink, though it looks as if the "EAT" and "AT" have remained untouched.

Eat now at Hooters

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This Hooters is located at Jantzen Beach in Portland. The venue and its sign were once maintained by a local family-owned restaurant, Waddle's. I have a small family connection to Waddle's; My grandmother had a great time visiting there with her cousin who ran/owned the place before it shut down. Waddle's was forced out when Krispy Kreme wanted the location, and the landlord increased the rates for the property lease to an untenable amount for a small business. Then Krispy Kreme crapped out (overexpansion problems), and Hooters swooped in.

Hooters promised to keep the sign (Portland takes its neon seriously), with the iconic clock intact, and they did, sort of, but pretty much changed the whole thing. It went from kitchsy beauty, to, ugh, just an ugly abomination. The sign now reads as either a bad dirty joke, or a poorly worded Public Service Announcement for breastfeeding. You can find some pictures of the old Waddle's signs online at:

content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/hb2199n7cq/ (black and white)

I really could just kick myself for never taking a picture of the sign before Waddle's closed. It was such a landmark neon sign that I unfortunately took it for granted that it would always be around, sigh.

Waddle's (once upon a time) used to offer car service under a carport area in the parking lot - orders were delivered by young women on rollerskates who'd bring the food to your vehicle. I ended up getting to meet one of the waitresses who'd worked for Waddle's back then through an old work acquaintance (it was her mom) and she said it was the most fun and hardest job she'd ever had, and made sure to let me know that there were less orders spilled on the way to the cars than you'd think there might have been.

photos4dreams, asciident, and 3 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. tualatin 96 months ago | reply

    Hooters. Oh brother. Sad story. Waddle's was an institution. As venerable as the once upon a time JB roller coaster across I-5. Sad story about the restaurant's demise. Despicable actually. Speaking of venerable neon. The owner of the Palms Motel on Interstate Ave. was complaining a couple of years ago that he couldn't afford to maintain his exquisite neon palm tree and was considering selling it to someone in California. Hope that got resolved.

    Nice series of train pics too, Scentzilla.

  2. asciident 96 months ago | reply

    I ate once at Waddle's (though it wasn't just any regular meal out, but that's another story). I always loved its sign. Thanks for posting all that info about it. :)

  3. scentzilla 96 months ago | reply

    Tualatin - It was such a bummer when the place finally shut down, since even up to the last minute they were still clinging to the hope that the landlord might come to their senses and change their mind. And it was made all the worse when contractors came in to change it into a Krispy Kreme but then never finished the work, so the place just sat empty with no tenant at all for months and months and more months.

    The Palms sign is alive and well, so to speak. I'm not sure exactly what happened there, but I'm guessing the owner probably came around and remembered that the sign brought in a ton of his business he might not otherwise have. That sign is freaking amazing.

    Thanks, my husband has gotten some really amazing train shots, mostly from along the old Southern Pacific line that cuts down the Willamette Valley, though they are grainier since they're from our old FujiPix snapshot camera... maybe I should try to dig those up off the laptop one of these days!

    asciident, that old sign was just such a nice marker along the highway. Such a pity Waddle's is no more - I am curious to see what Hooters did with the interior. Not curious enough to patronize their business, but it'd be interesting to see what they did with Waddle's fantastic old counter area!

  4. Consumerist Dot Com 25 months ago | reply

    Used here: consumerist.com/2013/02/22/whoever-stole-a-jukebox-from-h... Pity about the backstory behind the sign though.

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