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Scotty Browns, a favorite Whatcom County dining destination, opened a new location behind the security line in the new terminal at Bellingham International Airport. This is a first for the airport and Scotty Browns, and the venture has been welcomed with open arms by hungry travelers waiting to depart on their flights.

Along with seating for 80 in the restaurant and bar, Scotty Browns features an express counter, which opens at 5:30 a.m. The dining area and bar open at 6 a.m., and stays open until the last outgoing flight departs. Since opening, between 750 and 1,000 passengers each day have made a stop at either the counter to grab a coffee and a sandwich, or sat down for a full meal.

Chef Joseph Merkling from the Barkley Scotty Browns location and his team spent about two months in research and development of new menu items that would be easy to prepare and transport, as many travelers want to bring their meals on the flight. New favorites include the Street Tacos, made with red spiced-rubbed chicken or crispy fish, and the Pesto Chicken Ciabatta. Menu items popular at the Barkley Scotty B’s make an appearance as well, such as the Dragon Bowl and the Charred Pepperoni Pizza.

For travelers who aren’t sure what time zone they’re in, breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches are served all day. Top it all off with a hearty slice of Old School Chocolate Cake served with fresh whipped cream.

Those with a long layover appreciate the full bar, serving beer on tap, wine and an assortment of specialty cocktails. Travel-themed drinks, such as the Layover – raspberry vodka amaretto, pineapple and cranberry juice – or the Liftoff – vodka and Red Bull – make passing time the airport that much more bearable.

And all this good stuff keeps getting better. Another round of airport expansion is already under way, adding another gate and an additional 500 square feet of seating for the restaurant. Airport officials expect the improvements to be completed by the end of 2013.

As good as all this sounds, remember, you have to have a boarding pass to get past the security check and into the terminal to check out this new hot spot. Suddenly, getting to the airport early doesn’t seem all that bad.

August/September 2012 – Bellingham Alive/North Sound Life

"Suddenly, getting to the airport early doesn't seem all that bad."