Indiana-based Scotty’s Brewhouse, which specializes in burgers and craft beer, has bought the former Twin Peaks building in Central Texas Marketplace, the scene of a bloody shootout involving law enforcement and biker gangs in May 2015.
Dave Harnak, vice president of operations for the chain that has grown to nearly 20 locations in Indiana, Illinois and Florida, confirmed the purchase during a phone interview Friday, though he could not provide details about the sale price of the 7,869-square-foot sports bar erected to resemble a hunting lodge and originally priced at more than $4 million.
City of Waco spokesman Larry Holze said company representatives are pursuing a building permit to change the facade and make minor alterations to the interior. He has “heard talk” about Scotty’s Brewhouse opening by January but could not confirm that timetable, Holze said.
“I guess that makes sense because the work they are talking about is not that extensive, and the building was practically new” at the time of the shootout, Holze said. Nine bikers died in the shootout, and 20 others were injured. The first trial in the case is ongoing in Waco’s 54th State District Court.
Twin Peaks opened in August 2014 in the sprawling retail center dotted with restaurants, big-box stores and small shops. Patrons could choose from among 55 high-definition TVs strategically placed inside the establishment that also featured a fire pit and covered patio.
“The owners spent a lot of money on that building, and it was darn near brand new when that happened. Twin Peaks was doing very well right up until the end,” said Pat Farrar, a local commercial real estate agent who has followed progress on marketing the building but has not been directly involved. “I would assume the market would support this new sports bar. If we’re a test market, I guess we will find out.”
The Scotty’s Brewhouse in Waco will be the first in Texas.
After the deadly shootout, Texas-based Twin Peaks yanked the license of the franchisee and said it would no longer operate in Waco.
The building that housed Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant remains vacant more than two years aft…
At least two real estate agents, both from outside Waco, marketed the building for more than two years without success. Local real estate brokers debated the site’s marketability, some suggesting the building would have to be razed to remove any hint of what happened there.
Arizona-based Store Master Funding was the owner of record, but company representatives did not return repeated phone calls about whether the building was being offered for sale or lease.
Kyle Citrano, managing partner of George’s Restaurant & Catering on Hewitt Drive and president of the Waco Restaurant Association, said he had heard rumors in recent weeks of interest by Scotty’s Brewhouse.
“I’m glad the building is now filled, but in my opinion, this is just another sports bar like the Walk-On’s planned at Legends Crossing and the new Buffalo Wild Wings at Central Texas Marketplace,” Citrano said.
Louisiana-based Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar has announced plans to place a family oriented venue overlooking the small lake at Legends Crossing, the upscale development at West Loop 340 and Interstate 35, right across the loop from Central Texas Marketplace. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro also plans to open a restaurant there by next year.
No official spokesperson with Scotty’s Brewhouse returned calls seeking further comment Friday evening. Information gleaned from the website and other sources suggests the chain targets college-age patrons and young adults; offers at least 20 lines of craft beer, including those produced from local brewers; and is known for its wings and burgers, promoting a “Burger of the Month” that may include peanut butter, onion rings or fruit.
Due North Holdings, through one of its subsidiaries, acquired Scotty’s Brewhouse late in 2016 and announced plans to expand into 100 markets. According to a press release, founder Scott Wise “will remain actively involved in the concept as the company grows the restaurant’s footprint nationally.”
“I’m glad to see the building occupied. It’s a great spot, but unfortunate what happened there,” said Kris Collins, senior vice president for economic development at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce.
“Will this remove any stigma possibly associated with that location? I’m sure it will. Like most things, it will fade with time. If they have a good business, I’m sure it will do well,” Collins said.
Holze said the city will treat the renovation of Twin Peaks no differently than any other construction project as it relates to inspections and the approval of the building for occupancy.
Near the former Twin Peaks building, construction continues on a commercial center to be anchored by La Madeleine, a French cafe and bakery being brought to Waco by businessmen Gordon Robinson and Dan McReynolds.