Business

New SLO airport terminal will offer bar, shopping and grab-and-go foods

A rendering of the new terminal under construction at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport.
A rendering of the new terminal under construction at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport.

Travelers at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport will soon be able to buy a bottle of local wine, grab a quick meal, and sit down for a beer before their scheduled departure — after passing through the security checkpoint.

First Class Concessions will offer grab-and-go foods, retail shopping and a bar for passengers waiting for their flights in the new terminal scheduled to open in October. This is the first time concessions will be offered beyond the TSA screening.

The company, which operates concessions in Santa Barbara, Phoenix and San Diego, signed a seven-year contract with the county to operate a 1,000-square foot shop.

Company president Tasneem Vakharia said in a written statement that showcasing local vendors, including wines, is a top priority.

The new 56,000-square-foot terminal will be about five times bigger than the decades-old building it will replace. But not everything will change.

The Spirit of San Luis Restaurant at the airport will stay open, if all goes according to plan. Owners Doug and Julie Wagnon — who have owned the business for more than 30 years — were in escrow to sell it to Mike and Ellen Stanton for $269,500 as of July 14.

Rent paid by First Class Concessions to the county will be tiered, based on its success. For example, the business will pay a percentage of food, beverage and alcohol sales the first two years and between $18,000 and $60,000 a year in years three and four, depending on revenue. In addition, the business has agreed to invest $120,000 in building out the space.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan

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