The cafe at Aberdeen Regional Airport might be about ready to get its fourth operator in the last year.
The airport board approved letting Ken and Kris Konickson - who currently run Sip-N-Spin, a laundromat and snack shop on North State Street - run the eatery in the terminal. The Konicksons also supply lunch daily at Northeast Regional Health and Fitness Center and the Dakota Midland campus.
"These are people who have a background in food," Aberdeen Transportation Director Dave Osborn said. "If it fits into someone else's schedule and they have the experience, I would be willing to give them a shot."
In 2004, the city spent more than $70,000 to remodel the observation area in the terminal to house a restaurant. Jim Sandvig of Aberdeen ran the SkyBar Cafe there from October 2004 to April 2005, but then exited his contract, citing a lack of business.
Tony Martinez took over in May 2005 with the Passport Bar and Grill, but Martinez opted out of his contract on Feb. 15, because he could not make the restaurant work financially.
For the last 45 days, airport officials have run a snack shop in place of a restaurant, but Osborn said they've lost money. Supplies have cost about $940, wages for part-time employees have cost about $1,400 and about $1,090 has been earned from revenue.
"We've lost almost $1,300," Osborn said. "It has not been profitable."
The board approved giving the Konicksons the same type of rent-free agreement Martinez had.
Ken Konickson said his restaurant will follow the flight schedule and will be open from approximately 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Hot meal items - such as sausage, hot dogs, brats, eggs and burritos - will be offered.
Osborn said it's his understanding that the Konicksons plan to offer South Dakota made products - like kuchen - that departing customers can take home with them.
"We're going to try to see if this whole thing will work or not," Ken Konickson said.
A tentative date of April 18 has been set for the cafe's opening - pending the city's approval.
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