Sometimes people who are traveling by plane want a quick drink before takeoff or immediately upon landing.
But they can't have one at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport right now.
HMSHost, which handles food and beverage service at the airport, inadvertently let its liquor license expire.
"In the transition from using an outside counsel . . . to now an in-house legal team, we simply missed the deadline to renew," says Susan Goyette , spokeswoman for the Bethesda, Md., company.
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There have been no alcohol sales at the airport since the license expired Feb. 28. This is the only HMSHost market where the lapse happened.
"It's expired — it has not been lost," Goyette says. "Semantics there are pretty important."
HMSHost immediately reapplied to the city and state.
"The city has approved their portion of the license, and we're waiting on the state approval," Goyette says.
That typically is a 30-day process. It could happen earlier.
For people who want a drink and have some extra time before a flight, HMSHost is referring them to free shuttles to the Hilton Wichita Airport .
"They don't have to go too far," Goyette says.
"We've had a few people who have voiced their displeasure, but for the most part most people understand the importance of a liquor license," Goyette says.
"We are going to get it back."
Kurt Allen of the Dog House Carryout , which opens near Zoo Boulevard and Central later this month, isn't the only laid-off aircraft worker opening a restaurant.
Rick Burns was an aircraft worker for 30 years before he was laid off in October.
Next weekend, he's opening the Comeback Burger Stand at the southwest corner of 13th and Hydraulic to sell hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries and onion rings to go.
"This is what we used to do with our laid-off aircraft workers," says Rod Stewart , who handled the lease. "Our small commercial properties became entrepreneurial havens."
Stewart says it's tougher to do these days with higher real estate prices, but he says, "He has a good shot of making it work."
Burns thinks Wichita will continue to see new small businesses started by laid-off aircraft workers.
"That will be about the only thing turning things around."
You don't say
"So you can actually come in and have lunch and leave without smelling like a diner."
—Greg Helms , who purchased Ty's Diner last fall and says he's made substantial renovations, including new carpet, paint and a freshly cleaned hood that has improved air quality