HOUSTON, April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today unveiled the dining and retail concessions for the airline's new Terminal B south concourse at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The list is led by two new celebrity-chef venues with local and regional ties, and other first-time dining concessions with Texas roots, as well as several familiar airport favorites.
The $95 million south concourse redevelopment, which will open in mid-April, is a new 225,000-square-foot facility that will accommodate United Express regional flights. At nearly four times the size of the previous south concourse, the new space will provide a better customer experience, featuring modern and expanded gate-lounge areas, 17 food, beverage and retail concessions and a spacious central passenger lounge with expansive tarmac views.
"Travelers want the same high-quality dining and shopping experiences they have at home, and we selected the new Terminal B concessions with that in mind," said Kate Gebo, United's vice president of corporate real estate. "We're pleased to introduce several first-time airport concessions from well-known restaurants that offer variations on Texas flavors, along with established airport concession brands that are already popular with our customers."
First-time airport concession 3rd Bar Oyster & Eating House is the creation of Houston native and celebrated chef Bryan Caswell and noted food and beverage director Bill Floyd. In 2008, Bon Appetit magazine named Caswell and Floyd's seafood restaurant Reef, located in Houston's Midtown, the Number 1 seafood restaurant in the United States, and Caswell was named among Food & Wine magazine's Top 10 Best New Chefs in 2009. Caswell has been seen on the Food Network's Next Iron Chef and on Bravo's Top Chef. He is also a member of United's Congress of Chefs.
"We're excited to bring 3rd Bar from Reef Restaurant to United's new terminal at Bush Intercontinental Airport," said Caswell. "We look forward to offering expertly prepared seafood from one of Houston's high-profile restaurants to travelers in Terminal B."
Another airport first is The Fruteria, developed by San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez, whose passion for Mexican street food has caught the attention of Travel & Leisure, Southern Living and Bravo's Top Chef.
The Fruteria will fuse the vitality of Mexican culture with a contemporary Houston vibe - by day serving fruit cocktails, fruit and vegetable juices, a variety of smoothies and Mexican coffees. To satisfy heartier appetites, The Fruteria will feature robust torta sandwiches and creative Mexican-inspired tostadas. By night, The Fruteria will transform into a buzzing, contemporary cocktail lounge featuring fresh fruit tequila cocktails.
Other new airport concessions include Texas icon Whataburger; Bullrito's, also a Texas native, that will feature fresh Tex-Mex; and Barcuterie, which will offer cured meats and classic cheeses in an energetic bar setting.
Familiar favorites such as Famous Famiglia, Fresh Gourmet Marketplace, Panda Express and Starbucks round out the Terminal B south concourse food and beverage options.
Global restaurateur HMSHost is the operator of 3rd Bar Oyster & Eating House, The Fruteria, Barcuterie and Starbucks.
Travelers in the Terminal B south concourse will also have a variety of shopping options.
- The iStore Boutique is the first airport retail concept authorized to sell Apple devices. The store carries an extensive selection of both electronic hardware and accessories, such as e-readers, laptops, tablets, cases and chargers, from a variety of brands.
- Relay, the only international airport travel essentials brand, was founded in Paris in 1852. Today, its more than 1300 stores around the world create a sense of place, with every location reflecting the city and region in which it is located. Relay stocks a range of products from travel accessories to books, toys, gifts and health and beauty items.
- Brookstone's highly interactive store will offer the latest business and tech gear, tablet accessories, checkpoint-friendly luggage, travel pillows and blankets and a selection of "what did you bring me?" gifts.
- International beauty brand The Body Shop is known for its creative, innovative and effective products made using animal cruelty-free and fair-trade standards.
Other well-known retail stores include Ice Currency Exchange, Johnston & Murphy, Natalie's Candy Jar and Nuance Duty Free.
With 15,000 square feet of concessions, the new concession space is 500-percent larger than the concession space in the previous south concourse facility.
Westfield leased and will manage the retail and food and beverage operations in the Terminal B south concourse. Westfield is currently responsible for leasing and managing the concessions in the Terminal B north concourse and in Terminal E at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,472 flights a day to 381 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on nearly 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2012, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for nine consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 194 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
SOURCE United Airlines