Spirit of San Luis, which has served meals to travelers and local residents next to the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport terminal for close to 30 years, is up for sale by owners Doug and Julie Wagnon.
“We just decided that it was time to get fresh ideas and younger people in here to continue the spirit of the restaurant,” said Doug Wagnon, 65. “We’re excited to be going forward to unknown adventures.”
Wagnon has owned the 3,500-square-foot property, at 925 Airport Drive, since 1985. His wife, Julie Wagnon, became co-owner roughly a decade later, and the pair have operated it ever since, he said.
“We’ve been here a lot,” Wagnon said, noting that business has picked up in the past year to the point that they are performing as well as they did before the Great Recession hit in 2008. He declined to disclose annual revenue.
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Wagnon also declined to disclose the asking price for the business. But according to a post made on LoopNet.com — a website similar to Craigslist that lists businesses for sale — the owners are asking $395,900. The new owner would also need to pay rent for the property the restaurant is situated on, according to the post, because the land is county-owned.
The owners aren’t in a hurry to sell, however: Wagnon said he and his wife are waiting for the right offer and an owner who will continue the spirit of the establishment.
Depending on when a sale goes through, a new owner could arrive at a pivotal time for the restaurant: After nearly three decades next to the airport terminal, the Spirit of San Luis could soon be on its own.
Airport leaders have long been in talks to build a new terminal. They say it’s outdated and unable to keep up with demand, in addition to being too close to the runway for Federal Aviation Administration standards.
Last month, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors took a step toward realizing that goal when it approved applying for a $20 million FAA grant to help pay for a new $30 million terminal that would be built farther back from the runway.
Once that occurs, the Spirit of San Luis will stay in its current location, assistant airport manager Craig Piper said Wednesday.
“It’s at such a great spot right now,” Piper said, “with the view of the planes and the ease of access for locals. (Wagnon) had the option to possibly move it, but he declined, I think because of the location.”
According to Piper, the new terminal will not have a full-service restaurant.