"Girls Gone Wild" founder plans restaurant chain

Updated: 2007-04-01 08:32

LOS ANGELES - Having made a fortune off bare-breasted women, "Girls Gone Wild" founder is setting his sights on selling another type of breast.


A restaurant chain under the "Girls Gone Wild" brand name is being planned by Joe Francis, whose Mantra Films Inc.'s has built a $100 million business videotaping and selling the DVDs featuring young women exposing their breasts.

"This is going to be about fun, lifestyle, youth, sun. It's about everything 'Girls Gone Wild,"' Francis said. "It's going to be sexy without being sexual."

There will be no stripping, topless waitresses or filming in the restaurants, Francis said.

The first two restaurants are expected to open by mid-summer in Mexican beach towns Cabo San Lucas and Cancun. Francis sees franchises popping up mainly in college towns in the United States and around the world.

He said "Girls Gone Wild" restaurants will appeal to women who want to feel sexy, exiting and edgy.

Guys will turn out because "guys are always there, panting," he joked.

And he is not stopping at restaurants. Francis and Mantra plan a line of women's apparel including casual wear, lounge wear and swimwear that will be in stores by April 30.

Theme restaurants have been around for years. U.S. restaurant chain Hooters is based on the idea that waitresses in tight T-shirts and short shorts will lure patrons. Theme restaurants, in turn, sell a lot of apparel.

Mantra produces roughly 80 "Girls Gone Wild" DVDs a year, and is expanding to the United Kingdom, Australia and France.

Francis said Mantra holds roughly 700 special events and parties each year in bars and restaurants to videotape patrons going wild, drinking alcohol and, of course, exposing breasts.

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