Friendly Neighborhood Breastaurant
Twin Peaks opens in Mockingbird Station and moves past backlash
It happened: The Twin Peaks at Mockingbird Station is now open. With its July 29 incursion into this urban retail center at Mockingbird and US 75, it is the first location of this quintessentially suburban breastaurant chain to bridge Loop 12.
Twin Peaks is easy to denigrate, from the jalapeño wings on the menu to its exploitation of young women for staff. True, Twin Peaks is not the only business to profit from women's bodies, nor the only place you'll find women barely dressed. (The beach, for example.) But, at the end of the day, you're part of that realm or you're not, and Twin Peaks is a major part.
But Mockingbird Station needs to make sure its spaces are rented. And most of the other tenants welcome their new neighbor.
"Obviously, there was a bit of a backlash when their arrival was announced," says Marius Donnelly, owner of Trinity Hall. "But the additional traffic is going to be a positive thing. And it's reassuring to know that the group that's choosing to invest in that large of a space has a range of concepts and does a good job. They're a good operator with solid credentials, and that makes it easy to work with them as a neighbor."
"It's definitely a different vibe from what's been here before; it's not a hipster vibe you get from Twin Peaks," says Ben Leath, chef at People's Last Stand. "Personally, I don't care [about the waitresses], but I'm optimistic. Twin Peaks is a well-known name, and people are going to want to go there. And the more people that come to Mockingbird Station, the better."
With the Angelika Film Center as its anchor, Mockingbird Station currently has about 35 tenants and a handful of vacancies. Some tenants, such as Trinity Hall, have thrived. But other spots, including the one Twin Peaks has leased, haven't done as well.
"It's been a difficult space," says Angelika manager Rick Valadez. "First it was Chaucer's, the steakhouse, with all that marble and the waterfall wall, charging $75 for two for lunch. Then came Deux, the disco; they wound up losing their lease because they couldn't pay their rent."
Valadez' primary interest regarding any new neighbor is volume. "The main concern we have as a theater is sound bleed over," he says. "Our auditoriums are right over them. It was a concern when the other businesses were there, especially the disco. We had to put in extra sound insulation."
As for how Twin Peaks fits in with the center, he doesn't see much crossover.
"We have heard from some patrons who were surprised about the idea of Twin Peaks," he says. "We're taking a wait-and-see attitude. If it generates some business for us, that's great."
In a perfect world, Twin Peaks could fill an unfilled niche. "We get the shopping crowd, but we don't get as much of a night crowd," says Leath.
"Their sports program is a good fit," says Donnelly. "They do things not already offered at the station. One is mixed martial arts fights, which has a huge following in Dallas. It's nothing that we or anyone at the station provides. We get calls any time one of those fights runs. It's a whole demographic that would never come to the station."
Still unresolved is who will take the space where Mockingbird Taproom — and, before that, Vapiano — resided. A Mockingbird Station spokesperson says that they're talking to a few interested parties, but no lease has been signed. But with Twin Peaks already in, the question becomes, what fits in with Twin Peaks?