San Antonio Chef and Restaurateur Awarded Multi-Million Dollar Airport Dining Concessions Contract in Partnership with HMSHost

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Chef Johnny Hernandez Expands Unique Interior Mexican Dining Concepts with Airport Franchise Locations

I want to be part of the evolution of airport dining in San Antonio. I think we can change the way people look at airport dining.

San Antonio based star chef and entrepreneur, Johnny Hernandez continued to solidify his place on the regional and national culinary scene , when he was recently awarded a major concessions contract that will bring the chef’s inventive take on interior Mexican cuisine into the San Antonio International Airport (SAT).

Hernandez and HMSHost won a seven-year, multi-million dollar contract that will bring five dining concepts to SAT, including the first franchise location of the acclaimed La Gloria, which has earned the chef critical praises and a cult-like following for his inventive yet authentic take on traditional Mexican street food. A franchised location of The Fruteria will also be housed in Terminal A, along with Mission City Ice House Bar, which will specialize in local craft beers and spirits.

Like all of his properties, Hernandez will take a hands-on approach to each property handling the management, design details and menu creation to ensure that airport diners get the unique and authentically Mexican dining experience that has become a hallmark of the chef. The phased project is expected to be completed by December 2013, with La Gloria slated to open in June 2013. In addition Hernandez will partner on the HMSHost-created Mediterranean style, La Tapenade, and San Antonio’s first Steak ‘n Shake franchise, also to be located in SAT’s Terminal A.
Hernandez sees his foray into airport dining as part of San Antonio’s current cultural and culinary resurgence. “Airport food isn’t just about convenience anymore. Some of the best meals I’ve enjoyed have been at airports in cities like San Francisco and Chicago. I want to be part of the evolution of airport dining in San Antonio. I think we can change the way people look at airport dining. My goal is for travelers to experience the food and culture of La Gloria as they travel through our airport,” said Johnny Hernandez.

Partner HMSHost agrees, “When we set out to bring finer dining to Texas airports, partnering with Johnny was a natural choice. Adding his style of cooking and detail to the traveler’s entire experience fits in beautifully with our current marquee chefs like Rick Bayless and Todd English It just seemed like a perfect pairing,” said Anthony Alessi, Vice President of Business Development at HMSHost.

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Veronica Servantez
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