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.
“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.