See You At The Tarmac

Burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and breakfast all day can now be found in the Chautauqua County Airport in Jamestown.

The Tarmac Cafe, which opened at the end of August, celebrated its official grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday.

In attendance at the event were Craig Benson and Michelle Johnson, co-owners; Sam Arcadipane, director of airports and parks for the county; David Himelein, R-Findley Lake, legislator and Airport Commission chairman; Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Chautauqua County; County Executive Greg Edwards; and George Spanos, director of public facilities for the county. Additionally, Legislator Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown; Legislator Vince Horrigan, R-Bemus Point; other airport commission members and their families and the airport’s fixed-base operator manager were in attendance.

Tarmac Cafe opened at the airport because Johnson and Benson were looking for a kitchen to lay down their catering business, Brown Bag Gourmet, and heard through the grapevine that the airport was looking for a tenant for its restaurant. After meeting with Sam Arcadipane, director of airports and parks for the county, the deal was sealed.

“Our primary concern was servicing the travelers, because this airport is launching a renaissance,” Arcadipane said. “We’re looking at different types of airlines, we’re looking at obtaining charter services, we’re looking at expanding FBO services, we’re looking toward international status.”

Arcadipane said international status would mean bringing a customs station into the airport, to better service customers across the border in Canada.

The cafe is open seven days a week, beginning at 5:30 a.m. Aside from serving breakfast all day – with menu items such as the “Redeye Special,” “Commuter Cakes,” “Overbooked Pancakes” and the “Pilots Special” – it also has a lunch menu complete with classic and grilled sandwiches, hot dogs and burgers. Like the breakfast items, the lunch menu also features airport-themed items, such as the “Runway Dog” and the “Tarmac.” Tarmac Cafe also features fish fries Friday nights, as well as Sunday brunches.

“It takes the right mix to have a business be successful,” Edwards said. “I personally believe this is the right mix.”

Cornell, Himelein and Horrigan also spoke during the ceremony, offering their congratulations to the Tarmac Cafe owners, as well as recognizing Arcadipane for his efforts to improve the airport. Goodell also congratulated Johnson and Benson.