MYRTLE BEACH — A new restaurant is slated to open on Nov. 8 in the vacant space next to Bass Pro Shops at Myrtle Beach Mall, and the man opening it is well known both locally and nationally in the dining industry.

Coby Brooks, former head of Hooters of America for nearly 10 years, is opening a Twin Peaks franchise in a spot that formally housed Islamorada Fish Company.

The new Twin Peaks restaurant is going across the parking lot from a Hooters location that is synonymous with his family’s name.

Coby Brooks' late father, Robert Brooks, was chairman and founder of Hooters of America and is beloved throughout the Myrtle Beach area as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Robert Brooks was a large donor to Coastal Carolina University, which named its football stadium for the Brooks family in honor of Coby and his sister Boni Belle.

“We didn’t put that site there because of any malicious meaning," Coby Brooks said about Twin Peaks' new location. "The opportunity came and we just couldn’t pass it up."

In fact, that Hooters location was Coby Brooks' first job with the restaurant.

“It was the end of my sophomore year in college,” Brooks said. “My dad put me in there. He said, ‘I want you to go down there and open up that store. You are going to be washing dishes.' "

After Hooters of America was sold, Brooks started La Cima Restaurants in 2012 with several former Hooters executives.

Brooks became a franchisee of Twin Peaks because “it’s an area we were familiar with in operating, as far as what the concept is all about.” Both Hooters and Twin Peaks feature provocatively clad, all-female waitstaff.

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Brooks said any similarities with the Hooters brand ends with the waitstaff as his location will feature made-from-scratch meals including appetizers, soups and salads, various entrees, burgers, sandwiches, wings and tacos.

“You can cook anything in our kitchens you want to,” he said. “We have every piece of equipment. You could change into a different concept tomorrow if you wanted to, just because of the types of kitchens we build.”

Twin Peaks, known for its mountain-lodge motif, has more than 80 locations in 25 states, including restaurants in Columbia and Greenville. The Myrtle Beach location will be the 15th in La Cima’s portfolio, with the company’s other Twin Peaks franchises in the Carolinas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

The new 11,000-square-foot Twin Peaks will feature more than 75 televisions, with a round 40-person seat bar in the center of the restaurant. The bar features 32 different beers with 64 beer taps pouring 29-degree beers. Premium liquors are available, with a unique bourbon poured over a crystal-clear ice ball.

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The Twin Peaks Myrtle Beach location is scheduled to open Nov. 8. Richard Caines/Staff

“We went a little over and above on this one,” he said. “We decided because the bar is so big and round, to be able to get our patrons their drinks fast enough, we doubled it so we actually have 64 heads, 32 on each side of the bar. Just so the bartenders do not have to travel.”

The location will have a unique golf swing suite simulator that can be rented by the hour, only the second in the entire company. The building also features large communal tables, a double-sided fireplace, and an outside patio with a firepit that features a cigar garage.

“Being that Myrtle Beach is the golf capital of the world, I’m sure it is going to be utilized quite a bit,” he said regarding the simulator.

In the era of the #MeToo movement, Brooks said he has not had much backlash from those criticizing his restaurant's concept where waitresses wear blue jean or khaki shorts with tied red plaid tops.

“We have been doing this a long time; this is a business to us,” he said. “It’s not a playground or anything like that. The people who work for us, we treat them extremely well.”

Charles Partlow, professor of strategic leadership at the USC School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, said what Twin Peaks does well is its marketing plan and also appealing to sports enthusiasts — traits that are helping the chain thrive.

He also noted that Twin Peaks was swift to join the growing cocktails trend at restaurants and upgraded its beverage program.

“The bottom line is that it just isn’t about the girls in uniforms anymore,” Partlow said. “It’s basically back to the basics. Good food, good environment, and hospitality. The way you treat people."

Brooks said opening a Twin Peaks in Myrtle Beach feels like a homecoming. He still has many relatives in the area.

“I have been more hands-on with this opening than probably any of our stores,” he said. “It feels good because I feel like I’m home when I’m there."

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