CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A long-time staple in the Charlotte community took a big step toward healing Saturday morning -- the iconic Brooks’ Sandwich House in NoDa is back up and running more than a month after the co-owner was shot and killed during an attempted robbery.
Scott Brooks was murdered in the early-morning hours on Dec. 9 while opening the sandwich shop. The restaurant has been in the family for more than 60 years.
The case remains unsolved.
People started lining up outside the iconic shop around 6 a.m. Saturday. They were not scheduled to open until 10 a.m., but supporters said it is a testament to what the shop and the family has meant to the community.
Before officially opening the doors, co-owner David Brooks opened up with a prayer just outside the pick-up window. At the sandwich shop, you did not have to look for very long or very far to find people who love and support the Brooks Family.
One person told Channel 9′s DaShawn Brown the sandwich shop is the kind of place where they know who you are the moment you walk through the door. Another said it’s like the “barbershop of restaurants.”
“It’s all races, people from all sides of town,” customer Shamus Coneys said. “People in suits, people from construction sites come here to grab burgers. That says a lot to the people who are serving them.”
Channel 9 spoke with Scott’s twin brother David Brooks who said he did have some hesitation about reopening, but his family said you can’t let them win.
“It was so special to have a brother that looked like you, that was born the same day, and we grew up wearing the same clothes and stuff," David Brooks said. “Those memories are never gonna be erased but you know you feel like there’s a time to move on.”
Channel 9′s Tina Terry spoke with David Brooks, who said the support that the community has shown his family over the past few weeks has been overwhelming and helped him decide to reopen.
“It’s something I’m looking so forward to. Just to see everybody again and getting back to normalcy," he said.
Scott and David Brooks were known for giving back. In 2019, they donated more than 2 acres to Habitat for Humanity to help provide affordable housing for local families.
Owner of Glory Days Apparel, JD Harris, was inspired by Brooks’ service to the community and made up T-shirts with Scott’s favorite saying, “Too blessed to be stressed.”
“It was like, ‘Is that really happening to such great people in the community? I want to help in any way I can,’" Harris said.
Harris said proceeds from the T-shirts will be donated to Habitat for Humanity to finish that affordable housing project.
“Words cannot describe the feeling in my heart for people around the NoDa area," David Brooks said.
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The popular eatery made changes after the tragedy. Brooks’ will open now at 10 a.m., instead of 7 a.m., to make sure no employees have to open the shop in the dark.
No arrests have been made in Scott Brooks’ slaying. Surveillance video is the best evidence police have at the moment. It’s grainy but shows a masked suspect carrying a gun outside the restaurant just moments before Brooks was killed.
The FBI is also involved in trying to help bring the killer to justice. They’re offering a $10,000 reward to help solve the murder.
When the shop reopens, customers will see a mural of Scott Brooks on the back of the building. The artist behind the project told Channel 9 he wants the person who shot and killed Brooks to remember the life they cut short.
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