HOUSTON – Airport travelers were surprised to see new restaurants, like Gastrohub, at Hobby Airport on Friday. It’s where Pappas BBQ used to be.
This comes after the Houston City Council voted to enter an agreement with the group, Areas, to handle restaurant operations for the next 10 years. This led to a legal battle that Pappas lost.
Some travelers were not sure about the change.
“Seeing it gone is kind of saddening to me,” said Tolani Are.
Houston Airport System announced eight new temporary restaurants in place of Pappas. They include, Gastrohub Bistro & Bar, Gastrohub, Streat, Streat Bar, Latrelle’s Mexican Kitchen, Pink’s Pizza, Pick Up Stix and Hubcap Bar & Grill.
“I mean everything deserves a try you know,” said Josh.
Pappas officially moved out by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. Pappas officials say they were not allowed to take the equipment that is rightfully theirs.
They released this statement:
“Today, HAS and the City of Houston refused to allow us to vacate our spaces at Hobby Airport. We were working extraordinarily hard to take out all removable equipment when our team was met by the head of airport security and law enforcement who instructed them not to remove equipment that was purchased by Pappas Restaurants. The city is working on behalf of Areas to forcefully acquire expensive equipment without paying. The behavior of the city continues to be disgraceful. Houston deserves better.” - Christina Pappas
City of Houston Legal responded saying a contract said otherwise.
“The contractual arrangement between the city and Pappas allows Pappas to take away “removable” fixtures at the end of the contract period, and Pappas is and has been free to do so. However, Pappas is also seeking to dismantle and take away other key fixtures, such as three compartment sinks, that are bolted or otherwise “permanently” affixed to Hobby Airport. Such removals are contractually impermissible, cause damage to the airport facilities and would inevitably cause customer service disruptions as the airport switches vendors. Pappas has been repeatedly reminded of its contractual obligation to leave these “permanent” fixtures in place and those reminders have been ignored. The city will continue to comply with its contractual obligations to ensure a smooth transition as the Areas takes over space formerly operated by Pappas.”- COH Legal.
A total of 20 permanent dining and retail concepts will be open by late 2024.
The permanent dining options include: Fat Cat Creamery, Dunkin’ Donuts, The Spot, The Spot Bar, Velvet Taco, The Rustic, Jersey Mike’s, Pei Wei, Chick-Fil-A (new location), Starbucks 1 (new location), Starbucks 2, ThroughGood Bistro, Common Bond Cafe, Yard House, Killen’s Barbeque, Spindletap Brewery, Dish Society, Longhorn Steakhouse, Pink’s Pizza (new location) and Wendy’s (updated concept).