McFeely: 'Breastaurants' again ready and waiting for Bison fans
FRISCO, Texas — The business model is simple and revealing. Attractive young women dressed in lingerie or similarly skimpy outfits, dozens of huge televisions tuned to sporting events and cold beer. Lots and lots of cold beer.
The restaurants are named Twin Peaks, Tight Ends and Wild Pitch, in two cases easily decoded double entendres where exposed skin and easy laughs are served with the Bud Light and bar food to thousands of green and gold-clad fans who've migrated to this north Dallas suburb.
And they are ready and waiting for North Dakota State football fans. Again.
These are the bars and restaurants where Bison fans gather in the days leading up to their team playing in the Football Championship Subdivision national championship game. It's as much of a tradition during this title dynasty as the Bison team walking to Toyota Stadium through a cheering tunnel of fans on Saturday morning, or streamers blowing through the air while an NDSU head coach holds the championship trophy aloft in the afternoon.
"We call them 'breastaurants,'" said Matt Hiatt, general manager of Twin Peaks on Preston Road in Frisco, not far from where NDSU and Eastern Washington will play for the national championship this week. "Sports bars with a little bit of a nice twist."
Fargo hasn't had anything similar since Hooters closed years ago and even that chain was tame compared to these Texas places. Bison fans clearly love them. Since NDSU first played in the FCS title game in January 2012, fans have packed places like Plano's Tight Ends on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the contest.
"The Friday when NDSU is down here is our biggest day of the year. It's not even close," Tight Ends bartender Lacey Avery said Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 2. "It's our biggest day in terms of sales, tips, fun, everything. It's crazy. These Bison fans know how to party."
Avery is a 20-something blonde who was dressed in something you'd see in a Victoria's Secret catalog, leaving little to the imagination. She was friendly, gregarious and easy to smile, as are all of the servers at these bars. There is nothing pornographic about what these women do — these are not strip clubs — but the clientele is mostly male and the way to ensure a good tip is to play to the clientele.
Which, by the way, is another reason why these bars love Bison fans.
"Oh my gosh, they tip amazing," Avery said. "And they are all so friendly. They are the best drinkers I've ever seen."
Over at Wild Pitch in Frisco, a large banner hangs above the front door welcoming Bison fans. Inside, it's the same story. There were already a few NDSU fans inside, drinking beers and Bloody Marys after pulling into town.
Myron and Alice Flaagan, of Fargo, both in their 60s and retired, have made the Wild Pitch, Tight Ends and Twin Peaks their go-to places while cheering on the Bison. Their server was a young woman wearing black lingerie. Alice didn't seem to mind.
"These are the places where Bison fans come, so we come here, too," Alice said. "It's a little different, but it's not bad. It's fun."
Each place tries to add some NDSU flavor during the week. Twin Peaks hosts broadcasts from radio station Bison 1660, Tight Ends flies a Bison flag outside and hangs NDSU banners inside. Wild Pitch servers will wear green-and-gold outfits.
And "Thunderstruck," the AC/DC song that is the anthem of Bison football, will be played over and over.
"We know the songs you guys like. We have our playlists put together. We want to make you feel at home," said Robert Verich, general manager of Tight Ends. "Very few fan bases travel like NDSU, and we want to treat them right. And I'm not just talking about our place. I'm talking about all the bars, restaurants, hotels and businesses in Frisco and Plano. We do a week's worth of business in one night on Friday. The girls get a week's worth of tips. It's amazing."
The general managers at Wild Pitch and Twin Peaks told similar tales — the Friday before the title game is their biggest day of the year when NDSU is playing. Wild Pitch brought in a refrigerated trailer to hold extra beer. Tight Ends has a U-Haul trailer parked outside filled with beer so it doesn't run out. Beer suppliers, who usually deliver a couple of times a week, will be roaming Thursday, Friday and Saturday in case there is a local bar in need.
"We will go through between 100 and 120 cases of Bud Light from Thursday to Saturday. And that's just one kind of beer. That doesn't include Miller Lite and Coors Light and everything else," said Carlos Garcia, general manager of Wild Pitch. "The girls love it. This is a big week for them. They are expected to work. Some will be doing double shifts, and nobody complains. They do very well this week."
Brittany Foster is the events coordinator at Tight Ends and a veteran of four FCS title weekends that included NDSU. She calls what is about to happen in Frisco and Plano the next few days "a great thing."
"I went to LSU. I'm used to being around a football team that people are crazy about and that has die-hard fans," Foster said. "NDSU fans remind me of LSU fans. Super fans who just like to have fun. This is our busiest time of the year, and we love it. It's going to be crazy in here Thursday night, Friday and Saturday, and we can't wait."