SEATTLE/ATLANTA (April 13, 2023) – Seattle Food Partners (a partnership between Atlanta-based Concessions International, LLC (CI), Grove Bay Hospitality, and Seattle-based Well-Buttered Bread, LLC, which is run by Kate Kingen, the daughter of the founders of the award-winning Salty’s family of restaurants) has opened CI’s single largest airport dining location with the introduction of Salty’s at the SEA and BrewTop Social in the Central Terminal at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). The combined 11,647-square-foot concession (inclusive of storage) is located in the highest grossing airport location per square foot in any U.S. airport – SEA’s Central Terminal. These concepts are the largest CI has built of their 40 locations in the eight airports where they have a presence. CI’s relationship with SEA dates back to the early 1980’s as an ACDBE partner and grew to a multi-national prime concessionaire in the mid 1990s. Over the years, CI has operated various food and beverage concessions in several locations throughout the airport.
With the recent completion of the extensive renovation of SEA’s Central Terminal, guests have full access to an elevated dining experience at Salty’s at the SEA, a seafood and steak restaurant with a regional oyster bar and full-service cocktail and sports bar. Awarded for over 40 years for its Pacific Northwest coastal cuisine, regional wines and beers, Salty’s at the SEA was created as an oasis for travelers with exceptional views and warm hospitality. Located above Salty’s at the SEA is BrewTop Social, the country’s first beer and wine garden concept in a U.S. airport, provides a fun and relaxing environment, featuring 16 regional beer taps, and stunning, unobstructed views of the Central Terminal’s atrium and entertainment stage as well as the mountains and runway. Although both are separate concepts offering different dining experiences, they were developed and are managed and operated by Seattle Food Partners, ensuring consistent food and service quality.
Salty’s at the SEA and BrewTop Social are SEA’s Central Terminal’s marquee restaurants. With SEA’s creation of the new mezzanine level, Seattle Food Partners was able to place BrewTop Social above Salty’s, making the dining footprint in this flagship location twice as large. Designed aesthetically to evoke their local waterfront restaurants, Salty’s at the SEA offers an elevated dining experience in service and decor, while BrewTop Social offers a neighborhood wine and beer garden vibe for a more casual experience. Both locations provide direct access to some of the best views at the airport with the Central Terminal’s 350-foot wide, signature floor-to-ceiling window wall as a backdrop to both spaces. While dining and drinking, guests can enjoy sunrise to sunset scenic views of the Olympic Mountain range, watch planes take off and land just yards away, and pass time enjoying entertainment on the Central Terminal’s portable stage.
“It’s often said every project has a story, no matter how small or large, but the magnitude of the Salty’s/BrewTop Social project, married with the societal and economic challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, made for an extraordinary development and construction experience at SEA,” said Donata Russell Ross, CI’s president and CEO and majority partner with Seattle Food Partners. “It really did take a village to show up (nearly 80 people and more than 40 different companies) to keep the project on track, and it would have never been completed without the dedication, patience, persistence and teamwork exhibited by all involved. We knew it was a project we needed to accomplish, and we all had the common vision and navigated obstacles from day to day to see it to fruition.”
From being awarded the project in late 2018 to seeing it come to life with the grand opening of the remodeled Central Terminal at SEA in April of 2023, the project has a story to tell. Throughout the design and buildout phases, Seattle Food Partners and the airport had to overcome staffing issues related to COVID-19 restrictions including site closures and decontamination, supply chain challenges that also resulted in cost adjustments, permit office closures, and funding suspensions. In addition to all of these factors, the contents and structure had to meet all necessary fire and safety codes and standards, along with being built to meet seismic conditions in case of an earthquake.
“Collectively, CI has always been a really great partner, and with this project we were impressed with the locally inspired brand and concept they came to us with that not only celebrates Pacific Northwest cuisine and beer, but also gives our guests an exceptional and unique elevated casual dining experience,” said Khalia Moore, Senior Manager, Airport Dining and Retail, Port of Seattle. “It took a lot of energy, input, effort and dedication to the very end from everyone involved, and we couldn’t be prouder of the final result we are able to deliver for SEA and our traveling guests.”
If guests want to go to the airport to just dine, the SEA Visitor Pass program, one of the few airports in the country to allow non-traveler access, gives up to 100 non-traveling visitors per day a chance to enjoy the Central Terminal that is just past TSA’s security check.
FEATURES OF SALTY’S AT THE SEA
- Offers extensive Pacific Northwest cuisine for breakfast, lunch/dinner, and has a kids menu
- Offers a regional oyster and raw seafood bar with live oyster shucking and seafood towers
- Offers a massive triangular quartzite bar with sports TVs that is a central hub of the space, featuring a sommelier designed menu of Pacific Northwest wines, beer, and cocktails (including a zero-proof section)
- 57-square-foot, 6K high-resolution digital display showing 30-minute waterfront videos from sunrise, sunset, to moonrise (known as the “The Window to Salty’s World-Famous Waterfronts”)
- 180-degree unobstructed views of the mountain range and the runway.
- The patio against the window wall gives the illusion of being outdoors
- Goal of delivering a 30-minute order-to-check closeout in the fast-paced airport environment
- Access to numerous outlets and USB ports for charging devices
- Smart seating, tall enough to allow roller bags to store easily under bar seats
- LEED Certified, with large portions of the establishment built with locally sourced ashwood and lighting efficiencies inclusive of LED lights
- Salty’s Grab-and-Go area offers fast favorites from the menus
“When we initially met with the CI team, we couldn’t believe how synergistic our companies were – from our shared values and vision, being family-owned, and having a fierce dedication to exceptional hospitality, and it didn’t hurt that we shared the same appreciation for quality Pacific Northwest cuisine,” said Kate Kingen. “As partners, they have been able to understand and embody in their team our motto: A happy guest is our success. We could not have asked for a better partner to dodge curveballs with and to bring to life our collective vision of delivering on Salty’s brand standards and providing one of the most elevated casual dining experiences in an airport that also has the most spectacular views.”
FEATURES OF LEED CERTIFIED BREWTOP SOCIAL
- Offers a robust breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, kids menu and a simplified late-night fare menu
- Elevated indoor beer and wine garden in a park like setting with trees
- A brew hut houses the bar
- Offers a sense of place that feels like a traditional beer garden, with overhead string lighting
- 16 beer taps, many selections locally sourced from the Pacific Northwest to bring local flavor
- Offers a flight that pairs different appetizers with local and regional brews
- Several of the cocktails at BrewTop Social incorporate the local and regional beer/cider offerings – examples include a “Beer’s Knees” cocktail using Alaskan Pilsner, an Amber Apple featuring Seattle Cider Co and an IPA Mojito with Black Raven Trickster IPA
- Glass railing for clear sightlines from an elevated view of the terminal, stage and runway
- Priority Pass eligible, allowing guests to save a percentage off of each check
Between Salty’s (137) and BrewTop Social (57), Seattle Food Partners has hired and trained nearly 200 area team members.