Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Another restaurant fails at Tacoma Narrows Airport (KTIW), Tacoma, Washington

Airplanes taking off and landing are entertaining for the whole family
 Credit Michelle Smith 

Credit Michelle Smith

The black hole that is Tacoma Narrows Airport has swallowed yet another restaurant. 

 Reflections at the Airport ended its 15-month tenure at the airport near Gig Harbor this week.

Reflections was at least the eighth restaurant to try and fail to make a go at the airport in its nearly 50-year history.  Many of those years, the airport, which handles private and corporate flights, was without a restaurant.

Tim Bruhn, Reflections acting general manager, said there was nothing wrong with the airport that a consistently busier, less remote location wouldn’t fix.

On bright, sunny days, the restaurant did well. When the skies were gray and the rain was falling, which it is much of the winter months, traffic at the airport and at Reflections was disappointing, he said.

The restaurant’s location on a one-way road not visible from any major arterial was also a handicap, he said.

“We were a destination restaurant.  You had to want to come here. We didn’t have much drop-in business,” Bruhn said.

While the location was not optimal, the restaurant’s landlord was superb, he said.

“Pierce County couldn’t have been more supportive,” he said. “Whenever something was broken, they were right on it.”

The county, which bought the airport from the City of Tacoma in 2008, was likewise complimentary of Reflections.

“They were good tenants,” said Warren Hendrickson, the country’s aviation planner.  Hendrickson said the county will advertise for another restaurant tenant.

The track record for restaurants at the airport is not good.  In recent years, Rotors Bar & Grill, Taste of Eden, Blue Sky and FreshAire all left the airport. Those restaurants served a variety of cuisines from Mediterranean to American comfort food without developing a consist clientele.

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