Two Naples Hooters Calendar Girls
One restaurant, two in the calendar
NAPLES — Calendar girls and chicken wings.
Those interested in a new reason to visit Naples may be attracted to the Hooters restaurant off Pine Ridge Road west of Interstate 75. For the past two years of the store’s nearly three-year history, two of its Hooters Girls have been chosen for the Hooters Calendar.
“To have two girls be represented in the calendar, I think it’s a rarity,” said Assistant General Manager Aric Tousignant. “Collier County and Naples should be very proud to have a Hooters, and to have such great girls representing the area.”
Miranda Hickel, 23, is in the calendar for a third year. Jamie Lynn Strowig, 22, was also chosen this year, succeeding Audra Bryan, who was chosen last year and is no longer at the store.
The two Naples ladies are featured among the 130 swimsuit-clad profiles in the roughly legal-size calendar. The ladies were chosen from among the about 20,000 Hooters Girls at the company’s 450 locations worldwide.
When it was suggested there may be taboos circulating around the restaurant’s ambience, Hickel, who is a Naples native, pointed out the work she does for her community.
“I think Naples should be proud, because it’s not only that we’re fit, we’re healthy and beautiful young women, but we also have intelligence. We’re going to school. We’re bettering their community,” Hickel said. “We volunteer in the community, and give to other organizations that are local.”
Hickel has worked at the store since a month after it opened, after being recruited one random day at a Publix Supermarket in Naples. At first, she was opposed.
“I gave it a shot, and it’s a lot of great opportunities that I have been given by working here,” Hickel said.
It’s not just the yachts, helicopters or trips in private planes to the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Aspen, Colo., and other destinations for photo shoots and promotional events, Hickel said. Nor is it the limo rides, expenses-paid trips, extra income, swimsuit competitions or chances to network with and meet women from around the world, she said.
Most notable to both Hickel and Strowig, is hanging out with female friends at work, gossiping, and having fun joking and playing with the children of families and with the other regulars visiting the restaurant and bar, with few exceptions.
“Sometimes you get some sour people, but those people shouldn’t come here,” Hickel said, pointing sternly and smiling. “My favorite line is: Is that your real name? And I usually just walk away for a moment, and then I come back and I have to let them know that we’re not strippers, we don’t have stage names. This is a family restaurant. We’re more about the kids and the wives than we are about any man.”
Additionally, Hickel said she has had many conversations with people who know her from growing up here, and those who are familiar with her boyfriend, Florida Everblades hockey team Forward and Assistant Captain Ernie Hartlieb, who has played more games in an Everblades jersey than any other player.
Like Hickel, Strowig said Hooters was not something she had thought of before speaking with a friend at the store and coming down here from outside Kansas City, Kan.
“I played a lot of sports in high school. So, I was the one sitting at the lunch table with all the jocks instead of being one of the cheerleaders,” Strowig said. “It’s definitely different. I like it.”
Strowig is studying to become a registered nurse at Edison State College, while Hickel has graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a degree in communications and is now studying interior design at Southwest Florida College. Also a Lely High School graduate, Hickel wants to work in broadcast.
Both Strowig and Hickel have participated in various charitable events held by the company, as well as the Hooters International Swimsuit Competition held in Hollywood, Fla.
The calendar, playing cards, shot glasses, mouse pad and other merchandise featuring the ladies are available at their restaurant — just don’t look at the neon sign Hickel is a bit self-conscious of.
“It’s a very cool thing to have your own neon,” Tousignant reassures her as the two calendar girls show merchandise and pictures at the store.
“It’s the worst picture ever,” Hickel tells Tousignant, before joking with him. “I have my own neon, whoo!”