Trentonian Photo/GREGG SLABODA
Jim Hines (right) owner of the Sky Lounge at Ewing restaurant and bar in the Trenton-Mercer Airport terminal held a grand opening on Tuesday.
EWING — Travelers flying out of the Trenton-Mercer Airport can now pack one less item in their carry-on luggage — food.
County officials gathered on Tuesday for a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open The Sky Lounge of Ewing, a new full-service restaurant located steps away from the passenger holding area on the second floor.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for me to try something different, and with Frontier setting up operations here, this seemed like a wonderful opportunity for my company,” said owner Jim Hines.
The 49-year-old entrepreneur has a long standing relationship with the county and as a caterer. Hines began his career dishing up fine fare over 30 years ago and started Mercer Oaks Catering at the Mercer County Country Club just about 10 years ago.
“It has been such a great experience working with the Parks Department and with the County to open this restaurant,” he continued.
The tavern type eatery, which had a soft opening approximately one month ago, offers a full line of alcoholic beverages and fresh continental cuisine which can be enjoyed seated at the dark oak finished bar while watching the latest news on three flat screened TVs or can be picked and packed to go.
“The food is just terrific I am very impressed,” said Frenchtown Diane Mallon, who enjoyed a seated lunch at the restaurant before boarding her first flight on Frontier to Ft. Lauderdale. “I am so pleasantly surprised, the airport is so convenient, parking was easy and a great restaurant … this sure beats the heck out of flying out of Philadelphia.”
According to the menu, dishes vary in price from $5 to just under $10 and drinks, both hard and soft, are all under $8 a glass.
“This is a great day for the airport,” said County Executive Brian Hughes, who was flanked by several locally elected officials, as he cut the green ribbon officially launching a new small business in Ewing. “We have seen more than 50,000 passengers come through the airport, since Frontier has been flying out of here, and we expect more in the coming months,” continued Hughes.
Although officially called the Trenton-Mercer Airport, the ground of this newly revived transportation jewel is actually in Ewing Township, and since the launch of Frontier Airline’s East Coast operations in January, Ewing’s Mayor has not let an opportunity go by without highlighting this geographical fact.
“I am really happy to see Ewing in the name of the restaurant,” said Mayor Bert Steinmann, “I’m still hoping we can get it into the official name of the airport at some point,” he joked.
The monthly rent for the restaurant, according to Hines, is $3,500. However he believes the restaurant will be successful thanks to the recent surge in arrivals and departures from the regional airport.
“Even when the airport shuts down for construction in the fall, I think workers and construction crew will come by for something to eat,” said Hines.
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