By Carley Dangona
WESTFIELD – The city celebrated the grand opening of the airport’s first restaurant, which overlooks the runway and provides a firsthand look at the aircraft from its jet deck.
May 5 marked the first official day of business for Papps Bar & Grill, located at the Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport, 110 Airport Road. The restaurant features two 1,600 square-foot levels.
“It’s not just a restaurant at the airport,” Brian Barnes, airport manager, said. “It’s a destination that happens to be at the airport.”
During the grand opening tour, Peter Pappas, owner, highlighted the modern design aspects of the location, which include bamboo trim, LED lighting, an open kitchen, booth seating built into the bar and a video jukebox that customers can program remotely from their phones using an app. He noted the jet deck is open to all airport travelers, not just guests of the restaurant.
The bottom level is an indoor seating area complete with a front row view of the runway. The upper level is an open deck that features retractable awning and heaters to provide an open-air dining experience in a variety of weather conditions.
The à la Carte menu ranges from appetizers to desserts, with its highest price point at $12.95 for a New York strip steak. The bar serves alcoholic beverages including beer, wine, specialty drinks and hard liquors. Beers on tap are served in 12 or 20 ounce glasses and go through a pre-rinse chilling station before served to the patron.
During a preview event on May 2, attendees sampled the menu for free. The cost was a suggested donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. A total of $6,120 was raised – patrons donated $3,060, an amount that the Papps owners matched.
“We’re excited about this space. It really utilizes the upper deck and captures the energy of the airport,” Pappas said.
Mayor Daniel Knapik described the food as “fantastic” and “world class.”
When asked what’s next for the airport, Knapik said there is going to be some expansions with current tenants at the airport, expanding Westfield’s support of the aviation industry.
To preview the menu or to learn more about Papps, visit www.pappsbarandgrill.com
or call 642-3219.
Restaurant hours: Monday through Wednesday and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. The hours for the jet deck are in the process of being scheduled.