Coffee hound FBI Agent Dale Cooper from director David Lynch’s classic television show Twin Peaks would be proud – and relieved: The actual diner – Twede’s Café – which posed as the fictional Double R Diner in the iconic 1990s ABC series narrowly escaped the wrecking ball when it secured a $100,000 PPP Loan saving it from obliteration. The loan was sought by its new owners as a result of the worldwide pandemic, which has been particularly brutal for the restaurant and diner culture.
Twede’s Café has long been a stopping point for enterprising Twin Peaks fans doing the tourist route and the Washington state diner has come to symbolize the innate 90s quirkiness and dark humor of the fan favorite show; it’s generally acknowledged as more than earning its reputation – fictional or otherwise – for the best cherry pie within the tristate area.
The new owners of Twede’s Café, husband and wife team extraordinaire Rachel Bennet and Max Spears, had purchased the eatery on the eve of the coronavirus attacking all corners of the world, forcing them in quick order to switch from the traditional dine-in route to a carry-out only protocol. Taking a major hit from loss of income (after all, what genuine Twin Peaks fan would not want to order a hot cup of Joe within the four walls that housed the likes of Kyle MacLachlan, Sherilyn Fenn and Dana Ashbrook?), the couple knew that the clock was ticking on the life expectancy of their little corner of pop culture history.
“When it was takeout only, we were not making money at all,” Rachel Bennet explained. “We would’ve lost a lot of money because we were keeping our staff on.”
Bennet and her hubby applied for and received a PPP loan coming in just a little over $100,000, enabling them to keep their staff paid and to keep Twede’s alive and well while they continued carry-out only. “That was huge for us…” said Bennet. “We didn’t have to think about our sales for two months, which was most of when we were takeout only.”
Rachel Bennet came to Twede’s Café initially with a little distance between herself and the phenomenon that was Twin Peaks. Unlike most of the world, she never really gave too much thought about who killed Laura Palmer or pondered too hard about just what in the hell The Man From Another Place dream sequence in the show was really all about. It was only after returning to her hometown in 2018 and beginning her early talks with the cafes former owner about possibly purchasing outright the fabled Twede’s that she began to catch wise to the oddball charms of the cult hit show.
As with nearly everyone else on the blessed planet, Rachel Bennet and Max Spears are already anticipating the day when they’re able to get back fully to the business of living, and they have some special plans in store for Twin Peaks aficionados: The couple are embarking on a series of renovations to the classic café which wills serve as homages to Lynch’s popular creation. These include such nifty additions as repapering the entire diner so that the wallpaper matches up with that used in the show proper. Straight dope regarding the finished product sounds promising, as per Bennet: “So my idea was to make it more like the Black Lodge. We repainted it with this deep red color, we have black trim, we replaced the ceiling with these cool black tiles. There’s a closet that I’m in the process of turning into our merch room. I have red velvet curtains I’m going to put up. And I just hung the photos in a more intentional way, so they have a zigzag pattern…”
Vents is always happy to report on the good news during these zonky times, and we’re glad to note that Twede’s – A.K.A. the Double R Diner – seems to be in no danger of going the way of other pop diners (some real, some not) such as Perry’ Pizza, The Peach Pit, Pete’s Luncheonette and Arnold’s.