Yes, AOPA Summit will have good food and you’ll be near Hartford, Connecticut’s finest restaurants. But, if you also want to see one of the neatest little airport restaurants in the country, stop by Barnes Municipal Airport (BAF), which serves Westfield and Springfield, Massachusetts.
Called “B’Shara’s The Runway Restaurant and Lounge,” it’s located 100 feet from your aircraft parking spot—just tell the ground controller you want a progressive taxi to “the restaurant.” You’ll find a well-run family-owned restaurant 30 miles northwest of Hartford that aspires to be three-star. Dress is whatever you have on now.
The restaurant’s airport does have a tower, but it retains the flavor of a pilot-friendly, easy-to-negotiate airport.
It was founded by Paul B’Shara’s family in 1945 in Springfield but now operates at the airport near, as the name implies, the runway. The family has a deli in Springfield and also offers catering. B’Shara is proud of the fact that the restaurant has been in the family through three generations. It is one of the best airport restaurants I have seen.
I happened by December 31, 2010, and was surprised to find an airport restaurant offering a major New Year’s Eve meal with lobster, yet the prices were very reasonable. If I were rating its prices on a scale of one to five dollar signs, it would get only one. But if I were to rate the food, it would get four stars. Service is, as you might expect at a good restaurant, above the average—more like a big-city restaurant.
Hours on Tuesday through Thursday are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Friday and Saturday it is open 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday hours are 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dining at B’Shara’s is a great way to support grass-roots general aviation and enjoy an inexpensive evening.
B’Shara’s The Runway Restaurant and Lounge, 110 Airport Road, Westfield, Massachusetts 01085; 413/568-9999