These local restaurants were losing offers from KCI concessions


The new KCI

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Kansas City Council this week will review a lucrative contract with Vantage Airport Group, which aims to manage concessions at the city’s new $ 1.5 billion airport terminal.

If approved, the Canadian company will gain the right to oversee all food, beverage and retail operations at Kansas City International Airport for the next 15 years. The concession contract represents an unprecedented opportunity for local businesses to serve a captive traveling public at the gateway to the city.

Kansas City received five submissions from major corporations, all of which included a collection of local bars, restaurants and stores – some of them appearing on multiple offerings. A private city selection committee unanimously recommended Vantage as the winner.

In his presentations to city council, Vantage named many vendors that he expects to bring to KCI. These include Stockyards Brewing Co., Urban Cafe, Tay’s Burger Shack, Bo Lings Chinese Restaurant, Christopher Elbow Chocolates, and Mother Earth Coffee.

But few details on the other four proposals have been made public, as city staff have sought to keep the offers private until a final contract is signed. With questions about transparency swirling, the five bidders last week waived any confidentiality concerns, prompting the city to go public with the large bids on Friday.

The proposals are just that. All the brands included in the various offers would still require contractual agreements with the dealers. These lists are not necessarily exhaustive, but they show the variety of offers received and the local businesses vying to enter the airport.


What’s the big picture?

Kansas City is currently evaluating bids for a lucrative food, beverage and retail management contract at the city’s new $ 1.5 billion airport terminal. A selection committee from a private city chose the Vantage Airport Group of Canada from five groups that submitted bids. If won, the company would oversee all dealership activities at the airport for at least the next 15 years. But the city’s secret selection process came under scrutiny as members of the public and council were given limited information about the bids.

And after

Once the city council has selected a company, the winner will likely begin work inside the terminal soon to have construction completed by the March 2023 opening date of the new single terminal at the international airport. of Kansas City.

Here is an overview of the four proposals that were not recommended for KCI:

Delaware North

Based in Buffalo, New York, Delaware North planned to incorporate LC’s Bar-BQ into its American Royal Smokehouse concept in Hall B. The smokehouse would run in top pitmasters and local barbecue brands.

The company has also planned several creative spaces in the terminal. These would feature various exhibits on the arts, food and sports, including black league baseball.

Delaware North’s proposal also included:

  • Kansas City, Kansas Taco Trail

  • Tavolino by Lidia Bastianich

  • Messenger Coffee Co.

  • The rotisserie cafe

  • Jazz Bar and KC on stage

  • The Marketplace by Midwest Living

  • Chicken and Cookies by Midwest Living

  • Cie Brasserie Boulevard

  • Hawaiian Grill from the Bros Islands

  • A dining room with Pigwich, Mr. D’s Donuts and a bar

  • Fountain town tavern

  • Brewed and loads

  • The tasting room

  • Troost market

  • The kitchen

  • Harvest & Land

  • Made in the KC market

  • The sports connection

  • Flavor of the Middle West

  • Punch

  • Skull Candy

  • MRKT

  • Loft Loisirs 18th and Vine

Kansas City Restaurant Group

This proposal was a joint venture that included the Hudson Group and HMSHost, which operates catering operations at more than 120 airports around the world, including Kansas City.

The proposal included a partnership with chief quarterback Patrick Mahomes 15 and the Mahomies Foundation and plans for a FIFA World Cup store. The construction is said to have been inspired by local landmarks such as the 18th & Vine District, Country Club Plaza, Crossroads Arts District, and Electric Park.

Here’s who else was included in the Kansas City Restaurant Group proposal:

Mera KC

Mera KC is a joint venture that includes Mexican company Mera Corp. and three Californian companies: Metropolitan Culinary Services, Blue Stone Management and Skyview Concessions.

The proposal provided for commissary kitchens that would allow travelers to order “anything anywhere” in the terminal. Mera planned to showcase the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the American Jazz Museum, and the Plaza in the Park, which would include a stage surrounded by open seating.

Here’s who else was included in the Mera KC proposal:

  • Punch
  • Hallmark Channel Store
  • Crayola
  • Best of KC by Tony Gonzalez
  • Chinese Restaurant Bo Lings
  • Cie Brasserie Boulevard
  • Cascone’s Italian
  • Charlie hustle
  • Cultivar Vegetables & Grains
  • Jones Bar-BQ
  • Lufti fried fish
  • M&M Bakery
  • Majestic steakhouse
  • Kitchen & Bar by Guy Fieri
  • Comfort lounge KC
  • Teocali
  • Easyriders Bar
  • Christopher Elbow Chocolates
  • Amazon
  • To fish
  • Revocup roasters
  • The kitchen of the rotisserie factory
  • Westport Flea Market
  • Winstead bugs
  • Zarda Bar-BQ
  • Made in KC business incubator
  • Jay jewelry
  • Welcome to KC bar
  • Urban market around the corner


It was a joint proposal that included SSP America from Virginia, Paradies Lagardère from Atlanta, and Kansas City comedian and dealer Elliott Threat. Paradies Lagardère currently has a contract to operate information and gift shops at KCI.

The proposal included a partnership with Visit KC that would create interactive exhibits, a flexible space that would feature the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Black Archives of Mid-America and the Kansas City Chiefs Kingdom, a special area in the terminal to honor to “sports hero”.

Here’s who else was on the PLTR-SSP proposal:

  • The chefs bar-grill
  • Urban bird by J. Clark
  • Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs
  • Jones Bar-BQ
  • Jasper’s Italian Deli & Pizza Bar
  • Cie Brasserie Boulevard
  • Smaxx Burgers, Chicken and Fries
  • Hawthorn Exchange
  • Minsky Pizza
  • IMKC Clothing Company
  • Well
  • Messenger coffee
  • Cherry Sports
  • Tom’s Town Distilling Co.
  • LC burgers
  • Mi Casa Cantina
  • Made in the KC market
  • The local candle shop
  • Wow Bao
  • Aunt Anne pretzels
  • Vino Volo wine bar
  • Starbucks
  • Dunkin ‘
  • South of Taqueria summit
  • Camden Food Co.

This story was originally published October 4, 2021 5:00 a.m.

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Kevin Hardy covers the affairs of the Kansas City Star. He previously covered business and politics at the Des Moines Register. He also worked for newspapers in Kansas and Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Kansas

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Cortlynn Stark covers Town Hall with a focus on fairness for The Kansas City Star. She joined The Star in January 2020 as a breaking reporter. Cortlynn studied journalism and Spanish at Missouri State University.

Gladys T. Hensley

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