A full-service restaurant is slated to open at the St. Paul Downtown Airport this January, just in time for Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
A Plymouth-based restaurant firm, Ally Hospitality, is planning to open Holman’s Table in the historic terminal at the airport, otherwise known as Holman Field. It will be the first restaurant to occupy space there since 1999.
The 90-seat restaurant will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner in “a dining experience that celebrates the spirit of travel,” said Troy Reding, Ally Hospitality’s co-owner, in a statement Monday.
The lease with the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which owns the airport, calls for Ally Hospitality to invest at least $275,000 to develop the space.
Located southeast of downtown St. Paul along the Mississippi River, the airport is the state’s fourth busiest, with about 60,000 private and corporate flights taking off and landing each year.
Reding said he’s hoping to attract families, business people and aviation enthusiasts to the new dining space.
According to a news release, the restaurant will feature St. Paul craft brews, locally distilled spirits for classic craft cocktails, and dishes such as Ocean Trout Piccata, Seared Duck Breast and Bacon Steak.
In addition, a coffee bar will be located in the terminal lobby, featuring grab-and-go items and sweets baked by an in-house pastry chef.
During warmer months, a restaurant patio will overlook the airfield and Mississippi River bluffs.
The restaurant also will offer catering services for tenants, travelers and community members, as well as event space and a conference room. Parking is free.
Reding and partner Brad Sorenson founded Ally Hospitality in 2015, and the firm operates Rock Elm Tavern in Plymouth. Reding has 31 years of restaurant experience, 24 of them as TGI Friday’s director of Midwest operations.
Because the St. Paul airport has a 6,700-foot runway, it can accommodate Gulfstream jets, making it attractive to multinational companies. St. Paul is the region’s top reliever airport, diverting corporate travel away from busy Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The runway and a $45 million flood wall were completed in 2008, prompting businesses to invest in hangars and other facilities at the airport.
The airport’s terminal building was built in 1939 as a Works Progress Administration project. A recent renovation added “modern finishes and textures that complement the restored terrazzo floors, Kasota limestone walls and brass railings,” the MAC said.
Airport Manager Joe Harris said that until 1999 there had been some type of food and beverage operation at the airport. Established restaurants — including the Sky Chef Restaurant, the North Winds Restaurant, Flanagan’s and Holman’s Hideaway — were located in the space from the late 1950s through 1999.
However, the site’s propensity to flood had discouraged restaurant operators since then, at least until the flood wall was erected nearly a decade ago.
The airport was named after the late Charles “Speed” Holman, a Bloomington-born barnstorming aerobatic pilot.