Twin Peaks, a Texas-based restaurant chain that bills itself as the ultimate sports lodge with scenic views, has expanded into the Scenic City with its fourth location in Tennessee just over the state line from Georgia in East Ridge.
"We have been looking forward to opening our first Twin Peaks location in Chattanooga and can't believe the day is finally here," Twin Peaks CEO Joe Hummel said in an announcement of the chain's location at 500 Camp Jordan Road in the Jordan Crossing development. "We're proud of Twin Peaks' continued growth in the Southeast and being able to provide a great environment full of scenic views for the community to enjoy made-from-scratch menu items and an unmatched bar experience while hanging out with friends -- especially on game days."
Twin Peaks began in 2005 in Lewisville, Texas, and has grown to nearly 100 company-owned and franchise locations. The new East Ridge location is owned by the Atlanta-based franchise developer for Twin Peaks -- La Cima Restaurants LLC -- and swells the value of the retail, restaurant and hotel development built at Jordan Crossing in the past seven years to more than $100 million.
"We have always loved the growth and outlook of Chattanooga and have been searching for the right site for a while," James Porcello, vice president of operations and a partner in La Cima Restaurants, said in an emailed statement about the new East Ridge location.
Located between Bass Pro Shops and Topgolf just off Interstate 75 at Exit 1 in East Ridge, the new 350-seat restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The restaurant's menu features a variety of burgers, sandwiches, tacos, salads, flatbreads and shareable appetizers priced from $7.99 for crispy mini beef tacos up to $14.29 for a steak salad. Twin Peaks also features 32 beers on tap and offers live television coverage of sporting events in the cozy lodge environment.
At every Twin Peaks, guests are welcomed by a Twin Peaks Girl, typically wearing cleavage- and midriff-revealing red plaid tops as well as khaki or denim short shorts. Porcello said the 10,700-square-foot lodge will have more than 100 full- and part-time employees. The wait staff is typically all female at most Twin Peak restaurants.
EATERIES, HOTELS GROW AT EXIT 1
The new Twin Peaks adds an eighth restaurant along Camp Jordan Road, in addition to Chick-fil-A, Jonathan's Grille, Buddy's BBQ, Dos Bros Fresh Mexican, Pizzas Bros, Dairy Queen and Starbucks.
The 50-acre Jordan Crossing opened in 2016 with Bass Pro Shops and has since added a Topgolf outlet and a Hampton Inn hotel. Vision Hospitality is building a 101-room Home2 Suites hotel, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2024, and HCA Healthcare is adding an emergency medical facility scheduled to be built by late this year or early 2024.
In all, Jordan Crossing has attracted more than $100 million of new development to Exit 1, making it the biggest commercial development ever in the city of East Ridge.
In a telephone interview, John Healy, a partner in Wolftever Development LLC, which developed Jordan Crossing, said the development reversed a decadeslong decline in the hotel and restaurant offerings at Exit 1, which a half century ago boasted the most hotel rooms of any I-75 exit from Michigan to Florida.
"We always knew this was a great location and a frequent stopping point for travelers going between Florida and Michigan," Healy said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "But it had been in decline for some time, and most of the new development at the state border was previously locating in Georgia."
BORDER TAX REGION AIDS DEVELOPMENT
Georgia's sales tax rate is 25% lower than the combined state and local tax on goods bought in Tennessee, which has one of the nation's highest sales tax rates. That tax disparity encouraged hotel developer and retailers such as Costco and Cabela's to locate on the Georgia side of the border along I-75, but Healy said the border zone tax district created a decade ago in Tennessee has helped spur development in East Ridge.
Within the state border zone, the extra state sales tax revenues generated by the new businesses may be used to pay some of the development and construction costs for the new development.
"The fundamentals of Jordan Crossing always made sense, but the financials of this project were hard to figure out until the border tax region law came into effect," Healy said. "That law has made a tremendous difference, and I think the results you have seen at Exit 1 since that law was passed speak for themselves."
Healy said the developers are looking for another retail user for the last 6 acres available along Camp Jordan Road.