USA. SSP America has opened a series of new restaurants and bars at Chicago Midway International Airport, as part of the final stage in a US$400 million upgrade programme at the location.
Making use of local brands and championing a ‘Taste of Place’ where possible, the majority of the new F&B outlets (see below) are located in the renovated Central Market food court area, which reopened this week.
SSP America has operated at the airport since 2017, where its partners, subtenants and hundreds of team members now operate more than 30 restaurants, 60% of which count as Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprises(ACDBE).
The American Department of Transportation-run programme is designed to level the playing field for small businesses who want to participate in contract opportunities at airports.
SSP Senior Vice President Business Development Bob Stanton called the new food court and openings “truly remarkable.”
“From the improved infrastructure around the Airport, TSA facilities, and the redevelopment of the concessions programme, Midway is now a world-class airport which offers a tremendous experience for travellers,” he said, “It’s a unique effort given the extraordinary level of ACDBE participation and representation from the local restaurant community. This collection of brands rounds out our portfolio of restaurants, and we’re grateful for the participation of all our partners including those we’ve been operating with for a number of years.”
SSP America is a member of Midway Partnership, a joint venture that also includes Vantage Airport Group and Hudson, which was selected by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) to lead a US$75 million transformation of Midway’s concession programme.
The newly opened restaurants are :
- White Sox Bar & Grill: A ballpark-inspired menu and dining experience where memorabilia, décor and dishes combine to pay homage to Chicago’s World Series winning baseball team, the White Sox.
- Reilly’s Daughter: A familiar name to locals and now with two spots at Midway International, offering a menu of popular neighbourhood fare throughout the day.
- America’s Dog & Burger: With a menu based around a cross-country road trip, diners can choose from themed hot dogs from across the USA.
- Connie’s Pizza: A Chicago favourite since 1963 and a pizza pioneer, Connie’s is a go-to restaurant for those who crave the city’s classic deep-dish pizza.
- Big Bowl: Authentic, wok-tossed Chinese bowls from Orange Chicken and Beef & Broccoli to ‘potsticker’ dumplings and egg rolls.
- M Burger: A local Chicago handmade burger joint serving up burgers made with midwestern Black Angus beef, Kennebec fries (made from local, floury white potatoes) and house sauces.
- Tall Boy Taco’s: From Chicago’s Streeterville neighbourhood come these locally made tortillas in a quick, casual and funky setting. The menu includes fan-favourite tacos, quesadillas and salads along with refreshing non alcoholic ‘agua frescas.’
- Beechers Handmade Cheese: A menu rich with critically acclaimed specialty cheeses, and hot soups as well as the Oprah Winfrey-endorsed ‘World’s Best’ Mac & Cheese.
- Dunkin: Serving coffees, sugary donuts, pastries, sandwiches and more.