Airport restaurant to close, citing decline in patrons

Monday, July 16, 2007 | 2:43 p.m. CDT; updated 11:16 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Travelers at the Columbia Regional Airport only have a few weeks left to eat at its only restaurant.

On Aug. 17, Tailwind’s Restaurant will close after two and a half years of business. A declining number of patrons was one issue, said airport manager Kathy Frerking, although the restaurant declined to comment specifically.

Frerking said the space may sit vacant for a while.

It has been hard to keep businesses at the site in the past, including a period from 1998 to 2002 when three different tenants occupied the space, the Missourian reported in 2002.

While past restaurant closures at the airport have resulted in vending machines as the sole food option, Frerking is already working with the city’s Purchasing Department to find a replacement restaurant.

“I got an e-mail last week that the owners were closing operations in August,” said Marilyn Starke, the Department of Finance’s Purchasing Agent. The search for a replacement begins with a request for proposal, which is a bidding document that restaurant companies use to propose plans for the space. Starke said she plans to get the document released by the end of the week in hopes of beginning the search for a new tenant.

“I haven’t visited with Kathy (Frerking) in any detail of what a replacement might be,” Starke said.

Tailwind’s Restaurant sold a variety of breakfast entrees and breads, salads, sandwiches and entrees specializing in Latin American and American cuisine. The owner of Tailwinds Restaurant declined to comment on the closure.

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