Local businesses won out over national chains as the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport selected roughly 49 new restaurant and retail stores to set up shop inside Terminal 1.
At a five-hour meeting Monday, the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC) approved dozens of local businesses to give the airport a more Minnesota feel.
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The airport locations were bundled into 14 different packages – interested businesses partnered with other businesses to put bids together, before the MAC selected the winners that will take over some coveted retail space inside the terminal, MPR News says.
The process put a group of national chains – Buffalo Wild Wings, Leeann Chin and Dunkin' Donuts – against local establishments – Angel Food Bakery donuts, food truck-turned-North Loop restaurant Smack Shack, and a bar and restaurant run by the Minnesota Twins – against one another, with the local eateries ultimately beating out the chain restaurants, MPR News notes.
Other local establishments will also set up shop inside the airport, which saw more than 35 million travelers last year. Among them: Republic, a craft beer bar and restaurant; Stillwater-based LoLo American Kitchen; a music venue run by the McNally Smith College of Music; and a St. Paul lingerie shop Flirt Boutique, KSTP reports.
A restaurant-craft brewery combo run by local restaurant owner Ryan Burnet and the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild will also open, replacing Chili's in the main terminal, the Star Tribune reports.
The transition will begin in October and take about 18 months to complete, MPR News says. The rest of the airport's 130 commercial spots will be up for bid in 2017, KARE 11 notes.