The Twin Peaks restaurant in Harker Heights closed Monday, the latest victim from the avalanche of tragedy and controversy spawned by the May 17 Twin Peaks biker shootout in Waco.
Rick Van Warren, a spokesman for the Twin Peaks corporate office in Addison, confirmed Monday that the former franchise owner, Peaktastic, the same business consortium that owned the Waco Twin Peaks franchise, closed the Harker Heights location, putting about 75 employees out of work.
Jay Patel, principal partner in Peaktastic, was stripped of his Twin Peaks franchises in Waco and Harker Heights in the wake of the Waco shootout in which nine bikers were killed and 20 others wounded.
Patel could not be reached for comment Monday.
Van Warren said the Harker Heights Twin Peaks has been operated by a different franchisee, not Patel’s group, since the Waco incident.
He said the Twin Peaks corporate office is working to try to find work at other Twin Peaks locations for those who lost their jobs at the Harker Heights restaurant.
He declined additional comment.
The Twin Peaks building at Central Texas Marketplace, the scene of the bloody Waco shootout, is for sale for $4.2 million. The 7,869-square-foot building, which also has a 1,800-square-foot patio, also can be leased for $350,000 a year, said Greg Blandford, who is listing the property.
Despite its prime location, real estate agents and others are unsure how much the stain from the shootout and related fallout will affect the sale.
Gina Pence, president and CEO of the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce, said it is also hard to predict what effect the controversy will have on the Twin Peaks building there.
“It is hard to perceive how that is going to take place in the eyes of the community, but I would hope there is no adverse effect,” she said. “Harker Heights has done an outstanding job as far as keeping the community safe and keeping everything flowing in the right direction.”
She said Twin Peaks was a chamber member.
“We hate to lose any member, but it is a prime location, so I think whoever goes in there is going to do wonderful,” she said. “That is a hot commodity now for us, the (Highway) 190 corridor.”
Harker Heights police Sgt. Roosevelt Wilson said his department has had no problems with the Twin Peaks there, adding it did not play host to biker nights like the one in Waco.
Law enforcement authorities arrested 177 bikers after the Waco Twin Peaks incident, jailing them all on identical $1 million bonds.
Some spent months locked up before they were able to negotiate lower bails. None remain jailed in Waco, and the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office has presented no formal charges for grand jury consideration.