Wednesday, May 23, 1990 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

E-mail article     Print

Reporter's Notebook

Towns Cash In On Popularity Of Offbeat `Twin Peaks'

Hey, wanna buy a ``Twin Peaks'' cherry pie? How about a ``Twin Peaks'' hamburger? Or maybe a neat ``Twin Peaks'' T-shirt?

Two businesses - one in North Bend, one in Snoqualmie - have cashed in on the popularity of ``Twin Peaks,'' the television series that many people describe as unusual, strange, weird, and even a lot of mumbo jumbo.

The final episode of the season airs tonight, but no one's sure how that will affect Snoqualmie and North Bend now that the offbeat show has been renewed for ABC's fall schedule.

But one thing's certain: ``Twin Peaks'' has left its mark on the two towns where parts of the series were filmed.

As the reporter assigned to the Interstate 90 corridor, which includes Issaquah, Fall City, Preston, Snoqualmie, North Bend and everything around those communities, I've had my hands full with David Lynch's production and the publicity surrounding it.

I've got to admit, though, it's been a lot more fun than a public hearing on increasing sewer rates in North Bend or a City Council meeting on surface water runoff around Issaquah Creek.

The series has put Snoqualmie and North Bend on the map, with a little help from an article in The Star, a supermarket tabloid, that suggested the two communities were as depraved as the fictional town of Twin Peaks.

It might not be the sort of attention every community craves. But some folks in Snoqualmie and North Bend have capitalized on it.

Garnet Cross is knee-deep in pie makings at the Mar T Restaurant in North Bend and Edd Larson is shoveling out Twin Peaks hamburgers at his Big Edd's place in Snoqualmie.

Cross' cherry pie hit the top of the national dessert list after series character Dale Cooper, the FBI agent played by Kyle MacLachlan, took his first bite. Sitting in the RR Diner (actually shot in the Mar T), he drooled something like, ``This is where pies must go when they die.''

``Since that scene aired, our sales in cherry pie have tripled,'' said Pat Cokewell, the Mar T's owner.

``We never had it very often, but now we're ordering cherries by the case. We're even sending them out by Federal Express to people back east.''

Cokewell planned to freeze and ship two cherry pies to WLUP radio in Chicago, to be eaten during the show tonight.

Another was to go to a man in Hughes, Ark., another to a doctor in Memphis, Tenn.

They'll all pony up $10.50 plus freight charges per pie. All this because Special Agent Cooper almost died of ecstasy and went to FBI heaven.

Then there's the unbelievable increase in walk-in traffic. Tourists and vacationers passing through the area search out the Mar T to taste the famous cherry pie. Cokewell said she's had people from Gainesville, Fla., Ottawa and St. Louis stop by.

``The folks from Gainesville said people down there have `Twin Peaks' parties every night the show is on television,'' she said.

Business during the past two weekends has been up 30 percent over the same time last year.

Garnet Cross, meanwhile, bakes away in the kitchen and turns down any offers of help. Her pie recipes are secret and she doesn't want any meddling.

A few miles down the road at Big Edd's, the hamburger business has been much brisker than usual, owner Edd Larson reports.

He's averaging more than 80 ``Twin Peaks'' burgers - two patties, lettuce, pickle, secret sauce and chips - on weekends alone.

``People riding the historic train through town see the banner advertising the hamburgers and stop in after the train ride,'' he says.

Meanwhile, his dad, V.W. ``Cub'' Larson, sits in the kitchen shaking his head.

``I watched the show a couple of times, and I can't figure what the hell it's all about,'' the elder Larson says.

His son designed and ordered 50 T-shirts emblazoned with ``I Had a Twin Peaks Burger at Big Edd's in Snoqualmie, WA,'' and a sketch of two mountain peaks.

Larson sold out in less than a week but is reluctant to reorder.

``I'll take another look at it . . . maybe come up with some new ideas.''

Copyright (c) 1990 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


Get home delivery today!