New cafe to open at city airport

The owner said she aims to open the restaurant by June 1.
Wednesday, May 5, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:27 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It won’t be long before the smell of cinnamon rolls and pot roast will waft through the terminal at Columbia Regional Airport.

Anita Griggs plans to open a restaurant at the airport terminal and bring her catering business along. It will be the first restaurant to operate at the airport in about two years.

Griggs’ lease agreement was approved by the Columbia City Council at Monday’s meeting.

City Manager Ray Beck said officials have been searching for someone to open a restaurant at the airport. He said that he thinks the arrangement with Griggs is a good one.

Griggs’ goal is to open the home-style cafe by June 1, when her lease begins.

She began moving into the 720-square-foot area Tuesday but still needs to paint the walls and make other renovations.

Griggs is excited about moving Anita’s Homestyle Catering from Hartsburg closer to her Columbia home, but she said there are other advantages.

Although others have failed at the location, Griggs said she is confident her eatery will succeed — her costs will be cheaper at the airport, so she’s already coming out ahead financially.

Griggs’ rent will be $9,175 for the first year, or about $765 per month. That’s about the same as her old location, but she’ll save money by avoiding utility bills.

“Anything I make in addition to catering is just icing,” Griggs said.

She said the restaurant will serve breakfast and lunch, running from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.

While the menu is not set, Griggs plans to “run meals” to the more than 400 employees around the airport after they fax or call in. She is also considering a breakfast buffet.

She said she’ll have fresh-made salsa and chips with other specials and might add a happy hour by summer’s end.

Griggs also plans to apply for a liquor license after a couple months and, if approved, she would extend her hours to 10 p.m.

Griggs said she’s happy to get to finally socialize with her customers.

“It’ll be kind of nice to meet some people and make some new friends,” she said. “I’ll finally get to see the people I’m cooking for.”

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