New shops and food landing at Terminal F

Local, a swanky new tavern, features a menu created by celebrity chef Jose Garces and an Apple iPad at every seat.
Local, a swanky new tavern, features a menu created by celebrity chef Jose Garces and an Apple iPad at every seat.
Posted: October 01, 2013

A half-dozen new shops and eateries in busy Terminal F at Philadelphia International Airport will open to the public Tuesday.

Among them is a swank tavern, called Local, that carries the stamp and a menu created by celebrity chef Jose Garces.

At every seat will be an Apple iPad to order food, surf the Web, and check flight times. Every table and bar stool has a place to plug in and charge up: 110-volt outlet and a USB port.

"Jose contributed a bunch of different ways," said chef Michael Coury, head concept chef for Philadelphia's OTG Management, which pairs big-name chefs with airport restaurants. "He came up with the menu. Our chef worked with the Garces Group, and got the philosophy of how those restaurants work."

The Local tavern chef and staff spent time at Garces' Village Whiskey restaurant, at 20th and Sansom Streets, with the executive chef, he said.

Terminal F, which caters to commuter jets and 275 US Airways Express flights a day, is getting a $127 million expansion and makeover aimed at making travel easier and more fun.

Among the retail shops opening Tuesday are: Fire & Ice jewelry, Solstice sunglass company, XpresSpa, and Sound Balance electronics.

An additional nine concessions will open to the public Oct. 31. They include Kiehl's, Philly Pretzel Factory, Red Mango, Smashburger, Far East, LeBus Café, and Tony Luke's.

One-sixth of the Philadelphia airport's 31 million annual passengers begin or end trips in Terminal F, which was designed in the late 1990s for smaller 30- and 50-seat regional jets. With higher fuel prices, airlines have shed 50-seat jets in favor of bigger airplanes.

Travelers who fly into or out of the 38-gate commuter terminal will have 60,000 square feet of additional retail offerings, including a food court similar to those in Terminals B and C, more passenger seating and a new, larger shuttle bus stop with a covered vestibule.

The improvements are unrelated to a longer-term airport expansion plan whose cost was estimated last year at $6.4 billion.

US Airways has been construction manager of the Terminal F redesign, which will be completed in early 2016 and financed by fees charged to airlines.

As part of the renovation, the pedestrian walkway that connects Terminals F and E will be put behind security. Passengers, for the first time, will be able to go though security once and walk the length of the airport, from Terminal F to the international terminal, A-West.


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