After 21 years in business, One Flight Up at the Burlington International Airport will close at the end of April.
Airport director Gene Richards says business has been down since 9/11, when he saw a drastic downturn in families bringing their kids to eat and watch planes take off. In addition, Richards says, One Flight Up owner Chuck Rolecek closed his two BTV kiosks in the north and south terminals, now making way for expanded Hudson News.
Richards says he has quietly advertised the One Flight Up space to restaurateurs for about six months. “We really got no interest,” he says, blaming livable-wage laws and an old-fashioned kitchen that would likely require a $250,000 investment to modernize.
“Everything has a life, and 21 years is an amazing achievement,” Richards says. “I hope there’s an opportunity to do something else [in the space]. I’m optimistic that there will be.”
If the space can host a fresh concept, it won’t come from the Skinny Pancake, whose owners have expressed no interest in the soon-to-be-empty spot, Richards says.
Chittenden County fans of “Purple’s Pleasure” and the “Turkadilly” no longer need to travel to Middlebury for a taste. Bryan and Jenny Phelps opened their second Noonie Deli at 1 Market Place in Essex in late March. The deli’s signature freshly baked bread comes from wholesaler Baker’s Dozen, across the street from the new store.
And Mad River Valley fans of the Purple Moon Pub and Easy Street Café in Waitsfield have one last chance to enjoy both before they shuffle off this mortal coil. The pair of restaurants will have their last hurrah on Saturday, April 27, offering discounted drinks, live music and a limited menu.
According to the businesses’ Facebook page, “The recession has had a significant impact on retail businesses in the Mad River Valley, and we were no exception.” The Purple Moon Pub will continue to offer off-site bar-catering services through summer 2013.