As we ring out the old, and ring in the new, we took stock of new restaurants and cafes that opened at local airports in 2016.
From classic diners and Oprah’s favorite pie company to craft beer and fine dining, dozens of new restaurants landed at local airports in 2016. Here’s a round-up of 18 that came across our radar screen (listed by most recent opening date):
- 3rd Generation Taco, Apple Valley Airport, CA (December)
- Radial Café, Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, Texas (November)
- Klingers at the Airport, Reading Regional Airport, PA (November)
- Flight Line Café, Chandler-Fresno Executive Airport, CA (November)
- Hangar 24 Lake Havasu City Brewery & Grill, Lake Havasu, AZ (November)
- The Tower Grill, Nampa Municipal Airport, ID (October)
- Serventi’s Restaurant, Pittsburgh-Butler Regional Airport, PA (September)
- Barnstormers Bar & Grill, Dubuque Jet Center, IA (September)
- Flightline Café, Beaver Lake Aviation/Rogers Executive Airport, AR (September)
- Joe’s One Niner Diner, Paso Robles, CA (September)
- Sunshine & Tailwinds Café, North Las Vegas Airport, NV (June)
- Hangar 54 Grill, Chippewa Valley Regional Airport, WI (May)
- The Flight Deck, Dillant-Hopkins Airport, NH (May)
- The Aviator Restaurant, Floyd Bennett Field, NY (May)
- Centerville Pie Company, Barnstable Municipal Airport, MA (April)
- Blue Max Café, Southbridge Municipal Airport, MA (March)
- Sky Burgers Diner, Summer County Regional, TX (March)
- Aviator Grill, Pueblo Airport, CO (February)
Farewell to Fly-In Dining Pioneers
Unfortunately, we also lost some airport restaurants loved by pilots, foodies and community residents. Rent increases, looming airport closures and construction shuttered some of America’s favorite fly-ins, including (by order of longevity):
- Gene Collette’s Airport Diner, Fitchburg Municipal (closed August after 31 years)
- Typhoon Restaurant at Santa Monica (closed November after 25 years)
- Todd’s Restaurant at Ryan Field, Tucson (closed December after 13 years)
- Malibooz Bar & Grill, Reading PA (10 years)
Fortunately, Gene Collette’s reopened nearby as Gene & Steve’s Airport Diner. Others shutting their doors last year included Lil Red Baron in Newport NH, the short lived First Class Cafe (PRB) and even shorter lived Runway Bistro (GIF) that opened AND closed in 2016.
Two other well-known destinations – the Proud Bird at LAX and Blackerby’s Hangar 5 at BAK – closed for renovations and will re-open in early 2017.
Please let us know if you’re aware of other restaurants that debuted – or departed – in 2016 so we can keep our map updated. Thanks for reading and for sharing. May the new year bring you safe travels, smooth landings, and time with those you love.