Atlanta airport touts mega-food court

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport officials celebrated a new mega-food court on Concourse D that includes local restaurants like Grindhouse Killer Burgers and national names like Food Network Kitchen.

The restaurants in the redesigned Concourse D food court have been gradually opening over the last year and a half, as part of the airport’s massive overhaul of airport concessions. Concourse D is the narrowest of the world’s busiest airport’s seven concourses, but Hartsfield-Jackson completely rebuilt the food court into a bright, airy space with two levels and a variety of restaurants and shops.

Grindhouse Killer Burgers owner Alex Brounstein called his year-old airport location “great brand exposure” to travelers from all over. Grindhouse has a licensing agreement with Delaware North and helped train workers for the airport location.

On Concourse D, Delaware North Cos. has opened about 15 new locations, including a bar called The 40/40 Club, which is a concept by hip hop star Jay Z, who has a New York nightclub by the same name. But a potential 40/40 lounge has yet to open. It’s still in the design stage and the concept could change, according to Delaware North’s Travel Hospitality Services president Kevin Kelly.

Delaware North, a new concessionaire at the Atlanta airport, has invested more than $10 million into its debut at Hartsfield-Jackson.

“People are looking to be entertained now when they travel,” Kelly said.

The Concourse D restaurants are part of a $3 billion round of concessions contracts the airport signed in 2012. The rollout of the new restaurants is expected to extend through this year.

“The whole duration of construction is taking a little longer” than expected, said airport concessions director Paul Brown. But, he added, some plans have changed along the way and new restaurants have been added to the plans.