Slutty Vegan and Johnny’s Chicken & Waffles are among the new eateries with Atlanta flair planned for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as the first major overhaul of airport concessions in more than a decade picks up steam.
The new cuisine options are part of a long-delayed airport-wide reimagining of dining and retail options that officials have said that will bring more flavor of Atlanta, Georgia and the Southeast to the airport. The vendors announced this week include a mix of national and local brands, among them a pair of popular Atlanta distilleries.
Slutty Vegan, along with an ASW Distillery Flights & Bites, a Modern Market Eatery and two Starbucks are planned on Concourse B, according to the airport.
Also planned are the Johnny’s Chicken & Waffles, an Old Fourth Distillery + Kitchen, Duff’s Market, ATL Community Market, Citizen’s Culinary Market, On Your Way, Starbucks & StrEAT on Concourses C, E and F.
Plans to revamp food and retail outlets were delayed for years by contracting issues and a federal corruption investigation at Atlanta City Hall. The pause continued during the COVID-19 pandemic when travel plummeted.
Atlanta-based vegan burger chain Slutty Vegan has locations in Atlanta, Jonesboro, Duluth, Truist Park and on the campuses of Georgia Tech and Spelman, as well as in Birmingham, Alabama; Dallas, Texas; Harlem and Brooklyn in New York.
Slutty Vegan recently reached terms for settlement of a lawsuit filed by three former employees in Brooklyn who alleged management improperly paid its employees. The $10,000 settlement agreement is pending approval of a judge.
Johnny’s Chicken & Waffles, a concept from singer-songwriter Ne-Yo and chef Crystal Smith, his former wife, opened in College Park in 2021 and has a second location in Midtown, along with locations in Glendale, Arizona and Dallas, Texas.
Atlanta-based ASW Distillery is a whiskey distillery started by University of Georgia alumni with locations in Buckhead, at the Battery and in the West End. Old Fourth Distillery was the first distillery to open in Atlanta since Prohibition when it started in 2014, and was acquired by Atlanta-based Shortbarrel this year.
The Concourse B locations are planned by concessionaire Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, which won the Atlanta airport contract in a partnership with H&H Hospitality.
The locations on Concourses C, E and F will be opened by a different group of concessionaires — a joint venture of Areas USA Atlanta LLC, Shellis Management Services Inc. and AETC.
The 10-year contracts for the new locations were approved by Atlanta City Council on Monday. It typically takes months for airport concessions leases to be finalized and for restaurant locations to be designed and constructed before opening.
It’s been more than a decade since the last airport-wide refresh of concessions, and airport officials plan to put more concessions contracts up for bid across the terminals and concourses in the months to come.