The Waco, Tex., sports bar where a meeting of outlaw motorcyclists turned into a bloodbath Sunday is closed for good, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.
Less than 24 hours after a spasm of deadly violence at the Waco Twin Peaks left nine dead and 18 wounded and led to 170 arrests, a spokeswoman for the Dallas-based chain told the Tribune-Herald that “the Waco location will be closed and will not reopen.”
As the franchise’s Facebook page disappeared and the restaurant on Jack Kultgen Expressway was removed from the list of Twin Peaks locations across the country, the spokeswoman, Meghan Hecke, said it was unclear what would happen with the building at the Central Texas Market Place, or with a second Twin Peaks operated by the same group that owned the Waco franchise.
The decision to close for good — which a company official confirmed to The Washington Post on Tuesday — was announced hours after the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission implemented a week-long suspension of liquor sales at the restaurant and the Twin Peaks corporate office said that it was “immediately” revoking the franchising agreement for the Waco location.
And it came after several rounds of heavy criticism from Waco police.
Bodies were still lying uncovered in the Twin Peaks parking lot, where guns and knives littered the asphalt and blood was still pooling, when Waco police Sgt. Patrick Swanton stepped before reporters Sunday and said something few were expecting: The brazen biker-gang shootout that erupted in the shopping center “could have all been avoided.”
Perhaps more shocking, Swanton revealed, was the extent to which local law enforcement and restaurant management anticipated that a bloody battle between rival biker gangs was brewing.
“We have been made aware in the last few months of rival biker gangs — rival criminal biker gangs — being here and causing issues,” Swanton said Sunday outside the sports bar-turned-crime scene. “We have attempted to work with the local management of Twin Peaks to get that cut back, to no avail. They have not been of much assistance to us.”
The Waco franchise was heavily criticized by authorities after the sports bar packed with rival biker gangs — and police — erupted in violence and turned the Central Texas Market Place into what Swanton called “the most violent crime scene I have ever been involved in” with “blood everywhere” and weapons and shell casings, too.
The Twin Peaks corporate office also took aim at the franchise operators in Waco before the permanent closure was announced.
“We are in the people business and the safety of the employees and guests in our restaurants is priority one,” the company said in a statement. “Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants.
“We cannot tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and have revoked their franchise agreement effectively immediately. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful no employees, guests, police officers or bystanders were hurt or injured.”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Washington Post, Peter Holley and J. Freedom du Lac