The Wichita City Council on Tuesday is expected to approve an agreement that would fill the food court at Wichita’s new airport terminal with a branch of River City Brewing Co. plus national chains Dunkin’ Donuts and Chick-fil-A.
The Airport Advisory Board voted unanimously to approve the deal with MSE Branded Foods, a company out of Gainesville, Ga., that specializes in food and beverage services at hub airports similar to Wichita’s, said Victor White, director of airports for the City of Wichita. The City Council’s approval is all that’s needed to finish the deal.
The new plan calls for an aviation-themed cafe accessible to people who have not yet gone through the security checkpoint that would feature baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, made-to-order sandwiches, appetizers, pizzas and salads.
Just past the security checkpoint, across from Gate 5, a center food court area will have a Chick-fil-A, a Dunkin’ Donuts and a branch of Wichita’s River City Brewing Co. River City will serve some of the highlights from the menu at its restaurant at 150 N. Mosley in Old Town, including soups, salads, burgers and pizzas, as well as its craft beers. There’s space in the food court for another vendor to be added in the future, too, White said. (It won’t be Starbucks, though. Only one concession company is authorized to put Starbucks in airports, and it did not submit a bid, White said.)
The new terminal also will feature the Air Capital Bar, which will have a full-service bar and appetizers, sandwiches, wraps and pizzas. And across from Gate 2, MSE will put in a “grab-and-fly” area that will feature breakfast sandwiches, baked goods, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and other grab-and-go items.
The lease agreement with MSE is for 10 years, with a five-year option to renew. The vendors that are in the current terminal, including Burger King, are part of another contract that will expire when the new terminal opens. Those vendors will not move over to the new terminal.
White said the board was pleased with the mix of vendors MSE came up with.
“You can’t just have all local brands unless you’re in someplace like Dallas,” White said. “Roughly half of our customers in the terminal are not from Wichita and have to have something they’re familiar with, like Dunkin’ Donuts or Chick-fil-A. But what these guys are going to provide also needs to be something that folks here locally are comfortable with, too, like River City.”
MSE contractors are coming up with design concepts for all the food and beverage areas now, White said, and their projects will be complete when the new terminal opens in spring of 2015.