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Guess who's back in town

November 09, 2005|By STEVE SMITH

It would be easy to be bitter about what happened this week. The fact is, it all happened so fast that most of us who may have had a negative opinion barely had a chance to react before the event.

But, what is done is done, and the only thing we can all do is try to make the best of it.

I am talking, of course, about the opening of the new Hooters restaurant in Costa Mesa on Monday.

I knew about the new Hooters from an announcement I read in the newspaper a few weeks ago. Since that time, there has been a makeshift Hooters sign on a tall pole in a parking lot along the San Diego Freeway (405).

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My wife and I wondered about the location, at least the third try for Hooters in Newport-Mesa. The first one, we recalled, was on the peninsula where the Red Onion used to be.

Then it moved from a casual beach setting to the buttoned-down world of South Coast Metro near South Coast Plaza.

By the way, there really isn't any official place called South Coast Metro, it's just a way of combining areas of two cities to make it seem like one. Part of what is known as South Coast Metro is in Costa Mesa and part of it is in Santa Ana.

I always thought Costa Metro would be a better name, but that's too much Spanglish. After all, "costa" is a Spanish word meaning "coast," and metro is a shortened version of "metropolitan," which is ice cream in a combination of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla and favored by my father.

(My father also liked spumoni, but I think that was because the rest of us hated it, and he never had to worry about his supply disappearing. We hated it because he told us "spumoni" was Italian for "spit" and no one ever bothered to look it up.)

So, Costa Metro is out because it means "coast ice cream."

Is that really so bad? Is it worse than the name of our local professional baseball team, "The the Angels Angels of Anaheim?"

There are a lot of other strange names in the area too. What about Newport Beach? Where is this new port anyway? And even if there were a port, hasn't it been around long enough so that it's not really new any more?

For that matter, Costa Mesa is kind of an odd name, too. In Spanish, nouns come before adjectives. So where we would say, "white house," in Spanish it is "casa blanca," literally "house white."

That makes the translation of Costa Mesa "coast table" which isn't really correct. It should be "Mesa Costa." Oh, where is June Casagrande when you need her?

Besides, there is no coast in Costa Mesa -- it's landlocked.

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