It used to be that grabbing airport food was a matter of sustenance. Faced with hours in the air and only a minuscule bag of peanuts to hold them over, most folks give into their hunger and make do with a greasy triangle of cardboard (calling it pizza is a misnomer) or a slop of viscous chicken on a sad salad.
But over the last year, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport has shown weary travelers that there is another way. By recruiting local favorites like Peached Tortilla and East Side Pies, the growing airport has become a bonafide culinary destination — and a preview of the vibrant food scene outside the gates.
Now another local favorite has landed at ABIA. Haymaker, the popular Manor Road sports bar, is branching out with a second location in the former home of Earl Campbell’s Sports Bar across from Gate 24. According to a release, construction is expected to be completed by early 2019.
The neighborhood bar and restaurant will bring an edited version of its east side menu to passengers, including hefty hamburgers, open-faced sandwiches, and appetizers. The restaurant will also offer its signature poutine on natural cut fries sprinkled with Wisconsin cheese curds and a glossy brown gravy.
Also on tap will be 30 draft beers served from behind an industrial designed bar. That should make it popular with hopheads who don’t want to make the hike to Hippies & Hops at Gate 8.
In keeping with the Earl Campbell theme, the airport Haymaker will bleed burnt orange. An interactive University of Texas memorabilia display will anchor one wall and flat screens will be tuned to Longhorn games. In that same spirit, galvanized chairs will add a locker room ambiance and the floor will be made from reclaimed gym floors.
Since Haymaker will be many a traveler's first impression of the Live Music Capital of the World, there will also be a corner stage hosting various acts. We’re willing to bet at least a few of them will break into a few bars of “The Eyes of Texas.”