The closures are part of a longstanding initiative to refresh the combination of restaurants and airport shops.
Travelers accustomed to preflight flights at Anthony's Restaurant at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will have to find a new place to cool their jets.
Officials from HMHost Seattle, who runs Anthony's location, have recently informed employees that the 14-year-old facility would serve its last meal on March 31. "It's like closing a landmark," said one airport employee, upset, who asked identified.
Anthony's is one of many restaurants and stores that have failed to secure new leases from Seattle Harbor as part of a multi-million dollar airport renovation. Port spokesman Perry Cooper said the current closures would likely continue for several months and, according to a report filed by HMHost with the state, could affect at least 202 workers.
The closures are part of a long-standing initiative to refresh the combination of restaurants and airport shops – the port favoring small businesses or offering new concepts and local themes. The effort began in 2005, when the port went from a food service provider to several providers.
Dealers such as HMHost have partnered with outside institutions to bid on coveted 10-year leases in the terminal, which drew more than 49.8 million visitors last year, the eighth busiest airport from the country, said Cooper.
When the leases expired, the port forced dealers to submit new offers in a highly competitive process. According to the latest call for tenders, the port received 58 proposals for only 21 slots – and even the most popular tenants lost the game.
Ivar did not make the cut, despite sales of $ 4.6 million in 2016. And Anthony's is among the most profitable seated restaurants at all US airports since opening at Sea-Tac, according to Cooper. (The 22 establishments owned and operated by Anthony's Restaurants in Kirkland are not affected by the closure of Sea-Tac.)
Other losers include Wolfgang Puck Express, the Vintage Washington Wine Bar, Seattle Taproom, affordable luxuries, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the Seattle Seahawks 12, Burger King, a Starbucks location, the Great American Bagel Bakery , Vino Volo, Sbarro, Hudson Booksellers, and Sports Page Pub, said Cooper.
Despite the wave of closures, which may include some twenty additional people by the end of the year, the airport will record a net gain of 50 new businesses by 2025. Among the newcomers, Fried chicken at sunset, evergreen and pan.
Because the port requires incoming businesses that they hire from within the existing labor pool – and because current employees are highly valued for their experience and security clearances – Mr. Cooper said that many fired employees should find work with incoming companies.
Nevertheless, the news was not welcomed by the workers. Airport food service jobs are prized for their high gratuity and Sea-Tac's $ 15 mandatory minimum wage. These are "life-saving jobs," said the airport employee. "For some of them, it's impossible for them to replicate this salary elsewhere."