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New owners take wing at airport eatery

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News Brainerd,MN 56401 http://www.brainerddispatch.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/brainerd-migrated/11546873.jpg?itok=H0SrE5si
Brainerd Dispatch
customer support
New owners take wing at airport eatery
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Tammy and Guy Anderson wanted a small restaurant where customers could be known by name. They found one made to order in the Wings Airport Cafe.

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“It’s the perfect size for us,” Tammy Anderson said. “We wanted something cozy where you could know the people by name like a Cheers restaurant.”

The Andersons bought the 48-seat restaurant, located at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, earlier this month.

“It’s got an awesome view,” Guy Anderson said.

Just past the checkered table cloths are large windows with a view of the airport. Customers, including the Andersons’ grandchildren, enjoy watching the planes come and go. The planes also bring in customers who taxi in just to get a bite before heading back up into the deep blue sky.

Cooking isn’t new to the family. Guy Anderson was a cook at Breezy Point Resort and the former Westside Cafe. He’s splitting his other day job at Silent Power with cooking duties at the restaurant. Tammy handles cooking duties and waits tables. The two start their day with the kitchen prep work about 5:30 a.m. The restaurant opens at 7 a.m. and serves customers until 3 p.m. during the week with daily breakfast and lunch specials. Saturday and Sunday, Wings closes at 2 p.m. and on Sunday opens at 8 a.m.

Their menu focus is on homemade foods. Lunch specials are linked to days in the week and include entrees of sirloin tips with sauteed mushrooms, grilled chicken wrap with bacon, ground beef steak with mushroom gravy and baked potato, spaghetti or lasagna and meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy. Breakfast meals, named for planes like the Piper Cub, offer biscuits and gravy, eggs and hashbrowns, omelets and pancakes, even corn beef hash. Lunch and dinner items include burgers and fries, sirloin steak, Angus beef, chicken, turkey, shrimp and cod fillet. In addition, Wings cafe has homemade soups and pies like strawberry rhubarb, apple, lemon and raspberry cheesecake.

With the new airline, SkyWest, now secured and replacing the departing Delta Airlines, the Andersons said they’ll look at expanding hours as needed. They employ four and are looking to hire a waitress.

The restaurant has been around an estimated 25 to 30 years.

Interim Airport Manager Rick Adair praised the food and the prices as he stopped in for an early breakfast break.

“This is a good place to bring kids,” Guy Anderson said. “You can see all different kinds of airplanes down here.”

The Andersons said they run into people who think the Wings cafe is limited to serving airport employees or passengers. It’s not. The restaurant is open to the public, whether they want to board a plane or just watch one take off and land.

Current work at the airport is taking up an old runway and turning it into a taxiway.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz.

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Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
(218) 855-5852
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