Culture / Travel

New Restaurants Fly Into Houston’s Top Airport

Local Chefs Get a Lofty Starring Role

BY // 01.26.17

United Airlines continues to raise the bar at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Last year, the company announced a partnership with airline food magnate OTG that would produce a Terminal B, C, and E overhaul featuring updated technology — 8,000 iPads to be exact — alongside five new restaurants helmed by Houston’s premier culinary talent: Roland Laurenzo (El Tiempo), Ryan Pera (Coltivare), John Nguyen (Cajun Kitchen), Monica Pope (the former Sparrow Bar + Cookshop), and Chris Shepherd (Underbelly).

Now, United is upping the ante with eight more restaurants that will soon occupy terminal C-South and E. The new eateries will also be manned by the city’s foremost culinary talent, offering the airline’s more than two million monthly customers a taste of Houston’s local flavors.

“We continue to improve the customer experience for travelers at our Houston hub,” says Gavin Molloy, United’s vice president of corporate real estate. “The additional dining and retail options planned for Terminals C-South and E, combined with the offerings we’ll feature in our brand-new Terminal C-North, will provide an unparalleled ‘taste of Houston’ for local travelers and visitors alike.”

In Terminal C-South, three restaurants are in the works. Magnolia Meatball Shop, the brainchild of Lucille’s chef Christopher Williams, pulls from his Southern roots to offer twists on classic comfort food. Taco A Go Go‘s Sharon Haynes introduces Agave, a casual taqueria specializing in a bevy of fajitas. Harold’s chef Antoine Ware offers diners locally-sourced burgers with H-Burger.

Head to Terminal E for traditional Southern barbecue courtesy Gatlin’s BBQ chef Greg Gatlin at Q; chef Ryan Pera lands his second airport restaurant with Gavi, a fresh take on Italian fare; Asian biergarten Yume grants travelers a taste of sushi and ramen thanks to Tiger Den chefs Chris Kinjo and Mike Tran; The Pass & Provisions chefs Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner introduce Tanglewood Grille, serving hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, build-your-own burgers and more; Beerhive rounds out the offerings with local brews and an assortment of bar bites.

Expect United’s newest restaurant additions to open in the middle of this year.

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