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Posted on: July 21, 2011

Port Commission Approves Scotty Browns for Airport Restaurant

Count on more dining options at the Bellingham International Airport next spring when Scotty Browns opens a restaurant and lounge in the secure waiting area.

This week the Port of Bellingham’s Board of Commissioners approved a lease with the Bellingham business, which also operates a restaurant and lounge in the Barkley District.

"We are excited about this opportunity at Bellingham International Airport,” said Scotty Browns’ co-owner Robert Walker. “This ‘Hybrid’ Scotty Brown's will offer a casual and quick dining experience, while re-affirming our reputation of having great food, service, and ambiance at BLI. We look forward to serving our travelling guests from the US, Canada, and beyond..."

The business will occupy approximately 1,430 square feet and will include seating for up to 50 people in the restaurant and 30 people in the lounge. This is a much smaller space than their full restaurant in the Barkley District. Scotty’s owners have said they anticipate providing a similar, but more limited menu than the Barkley Village restaurant.

Walker noted that the business plans to invest about $500,000 to build and fully outfit the airport restaurant. The lease requires that the restaurant be open to the public by March of next year. In addition to providing significant jobs during design and construction, the business plans to hire about 25 people to operate the restaurant and lounge.

“Scotty B's has earned a positive reputation thanks to a great concept and local ownership, so we are especially excited to be working with owner Robert Walker,” said Port Commission President Michael McAuley. “Job creation and local investment is very important these days. With 25 or so new people hired on at a mix of pay scales, a half-million dollar investment by the owners and expanded service for folks flying out of BLI -- this is a real win for Whatcom County.”

Browns Socialhouse has been familiar to people in British Columbia since 2004 when the business opened its first restaurant in North Vancouver. Whatcom County got to experience their food in 2009, when they opened Scotty Browns at Barkley Village. The company now operates 14 restaurants in Canada, as well as the one Bellingham location.

The 5-year lease includes payments to the port based on its gross receipts. The restaurant and lounge will be in the secure section of the airport, as part of the 20,000 square foot expansion the port completed in June. That $8.5 million terminal expansion included a new secure gate holding area for passengers with double the seating and a greatly improved terminal building.

Passenger counts continue to grow at the Bellingham Airport as more destinations and flights have been added by Alaska Airlines and Allegiant Airlines. The Port estimates that 500,000 passengers will fly out of Bellingham this year.


For More Information:
Carolyn Casey, Communications Manager, Port of Bellingham, 360-676-2500, carolync@portofbellingham.com
Jason Cooper, General Manager, Scotty Browns, 702-808-7219

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