Detroit Metro Debuts 35 New Eateries & Shops

Mike Bernos
Published in: 

The new $421 million North Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) isn't just architecturally stunning, it's also loaded with new culinary and retail offerings. More than 40,000 square feet of new space marked by colorful storefronts with new concepts and brands greeted passengers when it opened last September.

"We are extremely excited to have launched this new chapter in Detroit Metro Airport's award-winning concession program," says Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Lester Robinson. "Our new North Terminal concession program has completely transformed our passenger's restaurant, retail and service experience at the airport."

With 21 food/beverage locations and 14 retail venues, the new offerings are projected to increase concession revenue to the airport by more than $7 million annually. New economic impact for the economy of Southeastern Michigan is estimated at $24 million.

Facts & Figures

Project: New Concessions Offerings

Location: Detroit Metropolitan Airport North Terminal

Size: 40,000 sq. ft.

Retail Stores: 14

Food/Beverage Providers: 21

Airport Firsts: 7

The new concessions roster mixes local, regional and national brands that complement each other and provide diverse options for travelers. Michigan brands such as Borders, Coffee Beanery, Hockeytown Café and Gayles Chocolates blend with national brands such as TGI Friday, Ruby Tuesday and Champs Americana, an American-themed sports bar.

Grab-and-go favorites like McDonalds and two food courts with options such as Villa Pizza, Earl of Sandwich, Cheeburger Cheeburger and Pasta Bravo are also offered.

Retail offerings include Brookstone, which sells branded electronics, travel accessories and gift items. XpresSpa represents the North Terminal's foray into salon services. It offers travelers treatments such as manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing and head-to-toe massage and reflexology services in the store's custom-designed massage lounger.

Just Landed

Seven of the North Terminal concessions are new to the airport sector.

The SI at DTW is the first branded Sports Illustrated retail store. It features an array of SI branded consumer products as well as branded merchandise of the area's professional teams (Red Wings, Tigers, Pistons, Lions) and college teams (Michigan State University and the University of Michigan). The store will also offer interactive kiosks where fans can access the latest sports news at

USA TODAY's airport debut comes in the form of three North Terminal convenience stores and newsstands called USA TODAY Travel Zone.

The five other companies choosing DTW for their airport premiers are food and beverage outlets.

Hockeytown Café and Legends Bar already had roots in Detroit. Hockeytown Café pays tribute to the city's legendary hockey history and hometown Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings. Legends Bar, located in the North Terminal baggage claim/arrivals level, features art glass panels that honor heroes of Detroit including Joe Lewis and Gordie Howe as well as Hollywood figures such as Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo.

"The airport offers a great opportunity for local business to highlight Detroit," says Brian Lassaline, spokesperson for the Wayne County Airport Authority.

The national restaurant brand Ruby Tuesday is making its foray into the airport sector in the new North Terminal by offering American menu items in a casual, contemporary atmosphere.

LeBoulanger (French for "the baker") is a European-style deli based out of San Francisco's Bay area. Its features fresh breads, sandwiches, baked goods, etc.

Earl of Sandwich is a regional brand offering sandwiches, wraps, salads and more at one of the North Terminal's two food courts.

Talking Tech

DTW encouraged both retail and food/beverage outlets to leverage new technology to improve service speed and reduce wait times. Concessionaires responded by adding flat-screen digital menu boards and retail displays, self-service order kiosks in the food courts and handheld ordering devices for restaurant staff.

"We really wanted our program and operators to set the bar high in the quality of their build-outs and their use of technology to create dynamic, high-quality customer experiences," relates Myrna Mendez, vice president of concessions and commercial real estate for the Airport Authority. "Our concessionaires are making use of cutting-technology for the 21st century to deliver restaurant and retail locations that will serve as a model in the industry."

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the North Terminal's concession area is automated retail by a company called Zoom Systems. Several automated venues feature language courses by Rosetta Stone and a variety of electronic items and accessories by Macintosh and Sony.

Diversification of products and offerings is one of the things the airport has prided itself on, notes Lassaline. "We are very focused on high tech," he says. "Zoom offers a 24-7 retail operation for customers in the terminal - especially for those looking for niche products. Zoom complements our product offering very well."


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