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Pearson airport opens first of 13 new restaurants

There’s a renaissance of sorts going on at Pearson airport.

It has nothing to do with the American-style security, unfortunately, and a reasonable way of getting there is still several years away, but there are 13 new restaurants opening up, and that’s something.

What’s more, unlike the current crop of food outlets, the sort that give airport food a bad name (ugly, bad food, high prices, poor service), the new ones designed by New York firm Icrave won’t be ugly.

Also, there are iPads.

The first of these, Heirloom, a bakery-based restaurant, has just opened in the international departures section of Terminal 1. There will be 12 more, opening in both terminals, in space once given to departure gate seating. None of the old outlets is closing, yet.

"Typically now, if you want to go to the airport, go through your hour and a half security, and you have a choice: you can go to a restaurant, go to a newsstand, go pick up a $10 yogurt or whatever and go to your gate and wait for your flight," says Icrave principal Siobhan Barry.

But with Icrave’s modern design, not only will there be more places to eat and drink, the way passengers spend their time waiting for their flights will also be changed, adhering instead to the customs of the contemporary passenger. 

"The actual gatehold seating is where the biggest change is," Barry says. "It’s now a seat with a table, with an outlet to charge your devices, and an iPad for your use."

Each seat by the newly equipped departure gates will have a leashed iPad, which you can use to browse, but also to order meals from any of the nearby food outlets. To sign in, you’ll enter your flight number, and it will let you know if you have time to eat or drink before you have to board your flight. It will cut off ordering 15 minutes before boarding.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Siobhan Barry

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