BEVERLY — The city is seeking proposals for a new, two-story building at Beverly Municipal Airport that would include a restaurant, a pilot’s lounge and a small aviation museum.
Officials said the project, which could cost in the $2.5 million range if it comes to fruition, would attract more people to the city-owned airport.
“Every successful airport has a successful restaurant,” Beverly Airport Commission Chairman Paul Vitale said. “It goes hand in hand.”
The winning bidder would demolish a current airport building that houses six businesses, including the Something Different Cafe.
In its place would go a two-story building that would include a restaurant with 50 to 100 seats, a pilot’s lounge with round-the-clock access, a 400-square-foot aviation museum, and a public restroom. The rest of the building would be divided into rental offices.
Vitale said the city issued the request for proposals because the lease for the current building expires in July. The building was built as a barracks for Navy pilots who were training at the airport during World War II and is in poor condition, he said.
“We’re hoping to attract some major players up there to tear down the building and build a new building,” Vitale said.
Vitale said a restaurant will be attractive to executives who fly into Beverly on corporate aircraft as well as recreational pilots who like to fly from airport to airport. It would also draw customers from Beverly and surrounding towns, he said.
The city’s request for proposals requires a new restaurant to be open at least 12 hours per day, six days per week. The Something Different Cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Something Different owner Linda McCarthy, who has the lease for the current building and has run the cafe for 14 years, said she doubts that a new restaurant would help the airport.