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Local Food a Hit at New Airport Terminal



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 10, 2011

Old Soul, Burgers & Brew, Cafeteria 15L and Jack's Urban Eats are part of a list of local restaurants displacing chains at the airport. Old Soul's coffee and bakery got a pre-security spot. But the other restaurants are out on a concourse at the end of a short rail ride.

After security is a broad indoor boulevard with stores and the restaurants. The first is Esquire Grill. Executive chef Kurt Spataro, with the others, lobbied the county Board of Supervisors for their airport locations. He says it was worth it.

SPATARO: Why shouldn't the airport reflect the food community? Why not keep the dollars that people spend in airports in the community? I just think it makes perfect sense. I don't know why it wasn't thought of a long time ago.

It's a unique arrangement. The international conglomerate HMSHost owns and operates the restaurants and hires staff -- nearly 100 union jobs at Esquire.  Esquire pays no rent but instead takes a small percentage, less than 5%. Spataro says it's working out better than he expected.

SPATARO: There's a face to the concept. The produce certainly, most of it's local.

Down the concourse retired attorney Jay Beedy followed the scent of garlic to Famous Famiglia pizza and just finished off a slice. Beedy is convinced that good food in an airport has lasting ambassadorial value.

BEEDY: Chain food's everywhere. If it's local food, you remember it. Maybe somebody coming here will remember even if they're passing through Sacramento, how good the food was and will give a good feeling for the city.

Back at Esquire, décor is the same dark clubby wood as the original restaurant on K Street Mall. There's a full bar. Tables are set with cloth napkins and sparkling wine glasses. But this IS a secure area. You'll be cutting your food with real a fork … and a plastic knife.
 
1010EC AIRFUD 2

Landside Terminal (Ticketing)

Restaurants

Camden Food Co

EcoGrounds

The Gateway Bar

Old Soul (Coffee) Co (local)

 

Airside Terminal (Past Security - Gate Concourse)

Restaurants

Cafeteria 15L (local)

Burgers and Brew (local)

Dos Coyotes (local)

Esquire Grill (local)

Famous Famiglia (local, from Six Flags in Vallejo)

Healthy Living

Jack's Urban Eats (local)

Peet's Coffee

Starbuck's

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