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Des Moines International Airport Executive Director Kevin Foley gives a tour of the new dining options in the airport near check-in and terminal areas.
Rodney White/The Register

The newest food and booze options at Des Moines International Airport aren’t exactly targeted at the flying public. 

The airport will open Berk & Chesters, a decidedly trendy bar and restaurant, near the terminal entrance on Saturday morning. Michelle Ranum, chief marketing and brands officer for Aero Service Group, which is operating new food and beverage options at the airport, said the new restaurant offers a little something for everyone.

“It isn’t necessarily passengers. But really our audience are those people waiting (for arriving passengers),” she said. “Hopefully, business meetings happen here instead of elsewhere.” And “we had to create a place that kind of worked for the kids and families waiting for grandma, the soccer teams getting home from the big win somewhere.”

To that end, Berk & Chesters includes a small candy nook for kids, a grab-and-go counter and a full-service restaurant and bar. The restaurant includes regular seating, high-top tables, club chairs and a long angled bar with views of planes and gates outside. 

The menu includes plenty of old standbys like burgers, wings and club sandwiches. But it also offers surprising dishes including candied bacon, Rice Krispies-battered chicken tenders and Fritto Misto, tempura fried shrimp and vegetables. 

“The menu is small but inclusive,” Ranum said. “Berk & Chesters is kind of our hometown kitchen and bar, designed a little bit like grandma’s place.”

‘What if you get to-go to the airport?’

Berk & Chesters replaces a food court at the front of the airport, before passenger security screening. It previously offered grab-and-go options like Dunkin’ Donuts. The new restaurant is the latest development in a $1.5 million overhaul of food and drink options at the airport.  

Friedrich’s Coffee is the only business that will stay put during the changes. 

Another bar and restaurant is currently under construction for passengers post-security. That…