Iconic Charlotte restaurant to reopen with ‘safer’ operating hours after killing of beloved owner

Published: Jan. 17, 2020 at 1:19 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte staple Brooks’ Sandwich House will reopen February 1, 2020 following the fatal shooting of the restaurant’s co-owner, 61-year-old Scott Brooks.

The decision to reopen came two months after Brooks was shot and killed while opening the restaurant, during the early morning hours of Dec. 9.

The restaurant will no longer serve breakfast, so employees won’t have to be at the work while it’s dark outside. The new hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We’re not immune from crime,” Brooks’ brother, David Brooks said. He says all employees will arrive and leave the restaurant at the same time.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say it appears Brooks was killed in an attempted robbery. The business was likely targeted because it deals with cash, police said.

Police say they were called to a shooting at the walk-up restaurant on N. Brevard Street at N. Davidson Street around 5 a.m. Officers say they found Brooks, who had been shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

This month, CMPD released surveillance video and still photographs of a man approaching the restaurant with what appears to be a handgun shortly before Brooks was shot.

Police are hoping the images help someone recognize the person responsible for Brooks’ death. The reward for any information leading to an arrest has been upgraded to $21,000.

“The Brooks family were always out in the community... they always helped their neighbors,” Lt. Brian Crumb said. “Today, the Brooks family needs the community’s help.”

Scott Brooks ran Brooks’ Sandwich House along with his twin brother, David Brooks, for decades. Their father, Calvin “CT” Brooks Jr, founded the iconic restaurant on N. Brevard St. in 1973. Since then, they’ve helped develop the neighborhood surrounding their restaurant into the NoDa we know today.

Customers, friends and fellow business owners began showing up to pay their respects soon after the tragic news broke Monday, and they kept coming. They say Scott and the whole family were always willing to lend a hand to their neighbors.

“The Brooks family have been involved in NoDa for quite some time, they’re definitely an institution,” said Joe Kuhlmann, owner nearby business The Evening Muse. “Such a tragic thing that anybody deserved especially people who have been so kind to the community.”

Violent crime in the area is relatively low, with only a few assaults reported within a half mile of the sandwich shop in the last month.

“This isn’t Charlotte, it really isn’t," said customer Juandriquez Chambers, who’s been frequenting the restaurant since the 80s. "[In] Charlotte, you can walk down the street with no problems, there wasn’t no violence, not serious violence.”

“The support that we receive gets us through our grief every day. It’s not easy... it’s not easy... he was my twin brother," David Brooks said. "I just hope this little bit of evidence and what we’re doing today is going to help find and convict someone. We can’t bring him back, but maybe bring a little justice to not only us but the community, too.”

The Brooks family is hoping someone can recognize something helpful. That NoDa community is one that has been searching for answers alongside the family.

David Brooks took to social media with an emotional Facebook post, asking for help to find the person responsible for the shooting, so the family can feel safe again.

“WE WANT TO FEEL SAFE!! Lauren put my feelings into words. To allow my daughter Lauren and son Teal to continue on with the business, I NEED TO FEEL THEY ARE SAFE. This is our families lively hood, my retirement and their future. PLEASE I BEG YOU...HELP US. Thank you for prayers, support and love. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO COME BACK!! God bless!,” David’s post read.

WE WANT TO FEEL SAFE!! Lauren put my feelings into words. To allow my daughter Lauren and son Teal to continue on with...

Posted by David Brooks on Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Anyone with further information about the shooting is urged to call 911, 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Brooks Sandwich House tweeted about shirts being made in honor of Scott, that feature his motto on the front. They’re $30 each, and all of the money will go to supporting the more than two acres of land the Brooks Family donated to Habitat For Humanity in 2019.

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