LR airport to add restaurant options | Arkansas Blog

LR airport to add restaurant options


CONCEPT DRAWING: Of Chili's for LR airport.
  • CONCEPT DRAWING: Of Chili's for LR airport.

The $20.6 million concourse renovation of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport is anticipated to include the addition of a Chick-fil-A and Chili's restaurants, the airport announced today.

If the plan is approved by the Airport Commission next week, officials said the restaurants could open by the first quarter of 2018. They'd be operated by the airport's current concessions managers, HMSHost and JQ Enterprises.

Remodeling is also planned for Starbucks, Great American Bagel and Burger King outlets.

Plans also call for addition of two new retail outlets, as yet unnamed. Jim Dailey, Commission chairman, said in a prepared release that the addition of four national brands is significant because it "h isn’t typical for an airport of our size.” Hudson Group and its partner Newburns Management will operate the new retailers.

An airport release said both the concessions and retail agreements with HMSHost and Hudson, due to expire in 2018, will be extended to 2028 and both will add one more disadvantaged business enterprise partner to the existing one each has. That could open the door again for some local minority partners, a source of some controversy over the years. Host and Hudson will make the choice of new partners. The minority percentage will remain at 30 percent of the operation, split between two rather than one minority partner.

UPDATE: Chili's will take over the space now known as Ouachita Landing, next to the food court. Quizno's will depart the food court and Whole Hog barbecue will leave the food court to become a featured offering at the River Bend restaurant before the security checkpoint. Burger King will remain in the food court. The restaurant work will cost $3.5 million, with $500,000 coming from the airport.

Hudson will remodel its existing gift shop and open a new one immediately after the security checkpoint as well as a kiosk farther down the concourse. That will cost $1.2 million. An existing bookstore next to Starbucks on the concourse will close.

Here's the full new concession agreement.

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