Concessions International (CI), Grove Bay Hospitality and Well-Buttered Bread have jointly opened airport dining venues Salty’s at the Sea and BrewTop Social at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in Washington.
The combined 1,082m2 concession (inclusive of storage) is situated in SEA’s Central Terminal. According to the partners, known collectively as the Seattle Food Partners, these concepts are the largest CI has built of their 40 locations in eight airports.
Salty’s at the Sea is 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 to offer travelers views and warm hospitality. Located above Salty’s at the Sea is BrewTop Social, a beer and wine garden concept with 16 regional beer taps and views of the Central Terminal’s atrium and entertainment stage as well as the mountains and runway.
The Salty’s at the Sea restaurant is LEED certified, with large parts of the establishment built from locally sourced ash wood with LED lights. The central hub of Salty’s at the Sea is a triangular quartzite bar with sports TVs and a sommelier-designed menu of Pacific Northwest wines, beer and cocktails (including a zero-proof section). It also has a 5.3m2, 6K high-resolution digital display showing 30-minute waterfront videos of sunrise, sunset and moonrise (known as The Window to Salty’s World-Famous Waterfronts). Additionally, the patio against the window wall gives the illusion of being outdoors. The restaurant aims to deliver a 30-minute order-to-check closeout for the fast-paced airport environment. It also offers numerous power outlets, USB ports for charging devices and smart seating, tall enough to ensure roller bags can be stored easily under bar seats.
LEED-certified BrewTop Social has an indoor beer and wine garden in a park-like setting with trees, which is intended to feel like a traditional beer garden with overhead string lighting. Glass railings ensure clear sightlines to an elevated view of the terminal, stage and runway. A brew hut houses the bar, which has 16 beer taps, with many selections locally sourced from the Pacific Northwest to bring local flavor. Several cocktails at BrewTop Social incorporate local and regional beer/cider offerings – examples include the Beer’s Knees cocktail using Alaskan Pilsner, Amber Apple featuring Seattle Cider Co and an IPA Mojito with Black Raven Trickster IPA. The venue also offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and a simplified late-night menu.
Between Salty’s (137) and BrewTop Social (57), Seattle Food Partners has hired and trained nearly 200 area team members. If guests want to go to the airport to just dine, the SEA Visitor Pass program allows non-traveler access and gives up to 100 non-traveling visitors per day a chance to enter the Central Terminal that is just past TSA’s security check.
Donata Russell Ross, CI’s president and CEO and majority partner with Seattle Food Partners, said, “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. 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 a common vision and navigated obstacles from day to day to see it to fruition.”
Khalia Moore, senior manager of airport dining and retail at Port of Seattle, commented, “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. 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.”
Kate Kingen, head of Well-Buttered Bread, said, “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. 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.”
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