Working with the airport restaurant management company OTG, United is creating five restaurants in the new Terminal C North Concourse inspired by some of Houston's most notable chefs, with thousands of iPads to place orders and have food delivered at the restaurant, the gate or other airport locations.
The restaurants, which will open next year, will offer farm-to-terminal offerings from local markets and innovative dining spaces designed by the Rockwell Group architectural firm.
Five top Houston chefs will offer unique dining experiences at the airport. They include:
- Chef Roland Laurenzo will create Vida Taqueria reminiscent of his renowned El Tiempo Cantina. His mother, Mama Ninfa, is widely acknowledged for introducing fajitas in Houston in the 1970s.
- Coltivare chef Ryan Pera will bring local, seasonal pizzas to the terminal in his restaurant to be named later, a reflection of his strong dedication to using local ingredients and sustainable practices.
- Chef John Nguyen, who merges Cajun seafood staples with Vietnamese flair at the Cajun Kitchen, will offer a similarly themed restaurant at the airport called Bam Bam. It will feature grilled and raw oysters, including Cajun Kitchen’s famous oyster nachos, Vietnamese-Cajun boils and po-boys all paired with a selection of rotating local and regional beers.
- Chef Monica Pope will create a Panini Bar, featuring sandwiches and salads emphasizing local ingredients.
- Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd, who was named 2014 James Beard Best Chef Southwest, will open a Houston-focused tavern called Ember, emphasizing local seasonal produce, seafood from the Gulf, and locally-sourced meats, including hand-cut steaks and Texas-sized burgers.
Leading-edge technology will be emphasized throughout the United terminals (C, E and B South) with nearly 8,000 iPads allowing customers to order food, retail items and other amenities, along with entertainment options. Orders can be placed from the restaurants or at tech-enhanced gate areas featuring lounge-style seating.
United MileagePlus members at Bush Intercontinental will be able to use award miles to purchase items at select CIBO Express Gourmet Markets in Terminal E. The markets feature an array of healthy options and offerings from local purveyors.
The new plans for Bush Intercontinental closely mirror well-received changes that have been implemented at the United terminal at Newark, a major hub. In a two-year project that is nearing completion at the end of the year in Newark, the terminal area has been equipped with cutting edge technology, chef-driven dining, and trendsetting design that make hanging out at the airport a bit more fun.