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Twin Peaks

Former Hooters executives to buy Twin Peaks

La Cima Restaurants, founded by former Hooters executives, to take majority stake in casual-dining chain

La Cima Restaurants LLC, the Twin Peaks franchisee founded by former executives of the rival Hooters chain, has agreed to acquire a majority interest in the Dallas-based franchisor, the company said Monday.

Terms of the deal, which has yet to close, have not been disclosed, but following a transition, La Cima chief operating officer Joe Hummel will take over as Twin Peaks CEO, replacing Starlette Johnson. 

“I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish over the past several months, and am confident that the future of Twin Peaks is bright,” Johnson said in a statement. “Joe understands what has made Twin Peaks so successful, and is the right guy to lead the next chapter of our growth.”

Randy DeWitt, Twin Peaks founder, will retain his role as chairman of Twin Peaks’ board of directors, while La Cima managing partner, former Hooters CEO Coby Brooks, will join the board. Johnson will return to work alongside DeWitt on the board at Front Burner Restaurant Group, his emerging-concept company.

Twin Peaks was founded in 2005, and has grown rapidly since, with system sales rising 63 percent over the past two years, to $269.1 million, according to Nation’s Restaurant News Top 100 data. The chain is among a group of casual-dining sports bars, often called “breastaurants,” that feature all-female wait staff.

The chain has had a rivalry with Hooters, the chain that pioneered the segment niche, since 2011, when Brooks and several former Hooters executives became Twin Peaks franchisees. 

Brooks took over as Hooters CEO from his father, Robert Brooks, in 2003, and stayed until 2011, when the chain was sold to a private-equity group following a battle over the chain’s legal estate, and five years after Robert Brooks’ death. 

“Five years ago, I was thankful for Randy giving me and my team at La Cima the opportunity to become what is now Twin Peaks’ largest franchisee,” Brooks said in a statement. “Joe and I have worked together for nearly 25 years, and we look forward to working with Randy and the team to continue building this great brand that all of us are passionate about.”

Johnson served as CEO of Twin Peaks for about a year. She took over for DeWitt, who left daily operations at the chain to concentrate on Front Burner, which operates concepts like Velvet Taco and Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar.

Hummel has been chief operating officer of La Cima since 2011.

“The process of re-energizing Twin Peaks is something we’ve all been working on, and I’m excited for the chance to accelerate this process,” Hummel said in a statement. “The heart of the Twin Peaks experience has always been about fun and hospitality, and I’m looking forward to working with the board and the team to bring new excitement into our restaurants.”

Hear from Coby Brooks in a video from 2011:

Correction: Oct. 10, 2016  An earlier version of this story implied that the Twin Peaks acquisition was closed. The deal has not yet been closed. 

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze 

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