Boston, MA - For many years, airport food choices were perhaps only one step above bus terminals in variety (Sbarro? We hardly miss ye.) And not without practical reasons. After all, when you’re stuck in a four hour layover and your only choices are between fast food and the proverbially nameless but expendable casual drinking establishments… well, let’s just say you’re likely not going to pay taxes to Mayor McCheese any time soon.
But gone are the days of sub-suburban shopping mall-quality food courts clogging the arteries of famished and impatient travelers. Airport eating has undergone a major image renovation, thanks to customers who’d like something a bit more substantial than a stale slice of pizza sitting under a heat lamp for two days and mystery vending machine selections. Even Logan Airport is jumping in on the revamp craze.
Trendy Chinatown standby Shōjō just announced plans to open their second location at Terminal C in Logan Airport in early 2019, alongside the expansion of beloved Haymarket staple Boston Public Market. It’s all part of an image overhaul announced by MarketPlace Development, who won a ten year concessionary contract with the airport last year in conjunction with local restaurant contractor HMSHost; an image overhaul that will showcase more than 14 new additions.
While it’s true that Logan’s never been a stranger to food that doesn’t have “King” in the title, let’s face it; if you can afford to eat at a Todd English restaurant on a whim during your flight delay, you might as well charter a private plane.
Shōjō and Boston Public Market are just two of the Boston favorites scheduled to expand to Logan. Earlier this year, local icons Kelly’s Roast Beef and Santarpio’s announced they’d be joining the roster, alongside Lucca, Mija Cantina, Saloniki, Alta Strada and Charlestown’s Monument Restaurant and Tavern.
“The New England region has so much to offer in the way of culinary tradition and a thriving modern food scene, and we’re so excited about bringing these special and iconic restaurants into the airport,” said HMSHost Vice President of Business Development Anthony Alessi in a statement earlier this year.
Shōjō got its start in 2012 by Brian Moy, whose family also runs local dim sum institution China Pearl. It’s since grown into a Chinatown favorite, offering inventive pan-Asian takes on everything from suckling pig baos and hamachi poke bowls to kimchi fried rice and their own version of chicken and waffles—all courtesy of executive chef Mike Stark, who also oversees BLR and Ruckus, Shōjō’s other two spin offs.
“Back when I was a kid, there were a lot more street vendors, like the fruit trucks," Moy told Food & Wine magazine in an interview last year. "I became friendly with the guys who ran those, and they taught me how to pull in customers, how to connect with the older ladies and families who came in. Those guys were my mentors, in a sense."
*For more information, visit www.shojoboston.com