According to local Houston restaurant guru, Cleverley, the downtown restaurant currently known as Zula is set to undergo some major changes. Among them, according to emails between Cleverley and the restaurant’s management team:
The new concept is: Going to Zula is about fun, lifestyle & youth. It’s going to be sexy without being sexual.
Zula restaurant will appeal to women who want to feel sexy, exciting and edgy.
Zula is expecting to host more live shows such as Las Vegas shows, bikini shows, model contests, fashion shows, and the list goes on, every Friday and Saturday night after 10 PM.
Our girls are dressing in tight uniforms (similar to Hooter’s) but more upper class.
Where to even begin?
How about here: Bikini contests? Those uber-tacky relics of MTV’s Spring Break specials circa 1994 to 1996? Model contests? As in, I’m going to model some ugly, cheap lingerie from Erotic Cabaret? Will Zula also have a champagne room with “specials” for their “VIP” clients? Jesus.
And how is any of that “sexy without being sexual”? If anything, their plans are overtly sexual. The only more sexual thing I can think of is for Zula just to move their kitchen straight into Rick’s or Treasure’s and offer free steak nights on Tuesdays. I’m not one to get all pearl-clutchy about our city’s massive trove of adult-oriented clubs — to each their own — but…this was a serious restaurant at one time. And what they’re suggesting for their future plans has about as much “class” as the sticky floors of your local adult theatre. Tacky, tacky, tacky.
And how, exactly, may I ask, will eating at Zula make me — as a woman and, from their very odd statements above, their target demographic — feel “sexy, exciting and edgy”? First of all, I don’t go to restaurants looking for an “edgy” experience; I go for — gasp! — GOOD FOOD. Atmosphere is always important, but I’m certainly not in the market for a “sexy” meal. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me.
But second of all, how will eating while surrounded by dozens of scantily-clad women make me feel sexy? That’s exactly what every woman wants: trying to have a nice meal, while their date is completely distracted by the Hooter’s style uniforms of the waitresses. Yes, that’s what makes a woman feel sexy. Well-done, Zula.
I’m not the only one who thinks these new “developments” bear a worrisome resemblance to a strip club, however. Zula management itself makes sure to note:
Our guests will be comfortable going in there, but they are going to get a Girls Gone Wild experience. However, don’t expect anything too wild. There will be no stripping, topless waitresses or filming in the restaurant. We don’t have any partners that are related to men’s clubs.
Methinks the restaurant doth protest too much…