The enthusiastic response from the mother and daughter planning to open the Kenai airport restaurant quelled any hesitation voiced by council members Wednesday night.
The Kenai City Council unanimously approved an operating contract with Sherry and Teea McBride, who said they will be ready to open the Kenai Cafe for business Jan. 12.
Council members Joe Moore and Rick Ross as well as student representative Adam DeMello were absent.
Wings Restaurant closed indefinitely Dec. 15, after the previous operators chose not to renew their concession agreement because of family health matters.
Council member Linda Swarner repeatedly objected to frequent closures of the airport restaurant, especially during the last year.
The agreement with the McBrides approved on Wednesday says, “The concessionaire will be open for business seven days per week as outlined in their proposal,” and also states, “The minimum hours allowed by the contract shall be six days per week, six hours per day.”
Council member Barry Eldridge said he would like to see the contract mandate a seven-day-per-week operation. Swarner said, if the mandate remains at six days, she would like the contract to specify which six days of the week the restaurant would be open.
City Manager Rick Koch said, because the city has not received many proposals to run the airport restaurant in the past, he would “hate to make (the contract) overly burdensome.”
Participating telephonically from Seattle, Council member Mike Boyle said he agreed that the contract should not be too restrictive.
Koch said he would prefer allowing the new operators “to grow into” the business.
“We want to see seven days at the airport,” said Sherry McBride.
“We appreciate you wanting to give us six, but we want to see seven,” she said.
The McBrides have operated the K-Beach Diner on Kalifornsky Beach Road seven days a week, including most holidays, according to Teea McBride, who also said their loyal customers want to see them open seven days a week at their new location.
Following the McBrides’ remarks, Eldridge said, “I think we’ve got some good operators. I am not offering an amendment (to the contract).”
In their business proposal, the McBrides said the wall decor of the restaurant will include likenesses of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, the Rat Pack, Lucille Ball, the Three Stooges and the Wizard of Oz. The floors will be black and white vinyl tiles.
While operating the K-Beach Diner, the women featured homemade scratch cooking, hamburgers handmade from fresh ground beef and hand-breaded chicken breasts and strips, halibut and cube steak.
They also served fresh soups made daily.
The approved operating contract runs through March 31, 2012.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at email@example.com.
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