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Blues-themed restaurant proposed for Lambert airport

The restaurant could be in service by January 2021

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Airport Commission gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a three-year contract extension with HMSHost, its food and beverage concessionaire, that calls for a new St. Louis Blues-themed restaurant. The current agreement with HMSHost ends Dec. 31, 2020, but the extension would start in January 2021 and run through the end of 2023. The extension must next receive final approval from the city of St. Louis. As part of the extension, HMSHost has proposed to build a new restaurant, called the Blue Note Bar and Grill, to replace an existing restaurant in Terminal 2.

"There's no better way to celebrate the defending Stanley Cup champion Blues heritage than by offering an exciting traveler experience with game-day eats and a festive atmosphere," Bryan Loden, HMSHost vice president of business development, said in a statement. "HMSHost is thrilled to partner with a team of champions in the airport and the St. Louis Blues, and we look forward to celebrating more victories with great food and drink for many years to come."

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The concession extension agreement calls for an initial minimum annual guarantee of $4.7 million — a 6% increase over the current minimum annual guarantee, airport officials said. HMSHost also would invest at least $3.5 million in new restaurant concepts and upgrades.

In addition to the Blue Note Bar and Grill, the extension calls for HMSHost to bring a new concept to the C Concourse. Officials did not provide details on what the new concept would be. Upgrades to its other establishments will be shared at a later date, officials said.

HMSHost and its partners currently operate Chili's, Starbucks, Dunkin, Baskin-Robbins, Pasta House, Mike Shannon's Grill, Schlafly Bar & Grill and STL Brewmasters Tap Room. The company also has a joint venture with D&D Concessions that covers 21 sit-down dining, fast casual and grab-and-go units.

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Lambert has separate concession agreements for its Vino Volo wine bar units, Three Kings Public House and the Pasta House/Schlafly restaurant, officials said.

Bethesda, Maryland-based HMSHost, part of Italy-based global catering company Autogrill Group, operates in more than 120 airports worldwide and more than 80 travel plazas in North America. It has annual sales of over $3.5 billion and employs about 41,000 associates worldwide.

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