Amid a recall effort, therapy and multiple allegations of sexual harassment, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is now facing another setback: He is barred from entering the Hooters restaurants in the city he governs, with the franchisee citing a belief that "women should be treated with respect."
"This establishment recognizes that we all have political differences and we serve people from all walks of life," window signs in four San Diego-area Hooters reportedly state. "We also believe it is imperative for people to have standards. The Mayor of San Diego will not be served in this establishment."
Francis Barraza, the executive director of the Republican Party of San Diego, tweeted a photograph of the sign Tuesday, with the tweet, "My local @hooters won't serve Bob #Filner. #stepintoawesome #respect #lunch"
More than a dozen women have recently come forward claiming that Filner sexually harassed them. He is facing a lawsuit and a recall effort, as well as numerous calls for his resignation.
Filner, 70, has admitted "harming women" but said nothing about resigning. He said last month that he would enter a two-week therapy program from Aug. 5 to 19, but ABC News Los Angeles affiliate KABC reported that he finished a week early. The session was reportedly intended to help him learn to treat women with respect.
Filner's office did not respond to requests for comment.
Clearwater, Fla.-based Hooters Inc. is an international chain restaurant primarily known for its friendly and provocatively clad waitresses, also called Hooters Girls. "Hooters Girls are the very essence of Hooters," according to the restaurant's website.
A Hooters of America representative declined to comment today, instead citing the company's statement via Twitter regarding the signs posted in San Diego Hooters locations:
"Our Hooters Girls in San Diego have spoken. Not a corporate gig, but we support our girls."
Melissa Fry, the outside sales manager for HootWinc, the West Coast Hooters franchisee that also operates in Oregon and Washington state, told Slate magazine, "It's not a political move for us in any way, shape or form. We're strictly taking a stand for the fair treatment of women. At our franchise alone, we employ 1,100 beautiful, talented women."