Right now, Newark Airport's Terminal C is in the process of being transformed into one of the most beefed-up, least terrible airport dining complexes in the country. By comparison, JFK's Terminal 4, with its two Shake Shacks and its Marcus Samuelsson restaurant, will look like amateur hour. Not only will Newark have restaurants from the likes of Paul Liebrandt, Dan Kluger, Alain Ducasse, Amanda Cohen, Mario Carbone, and many more, but it will also have a completely bonkers airport-of-the-future design.
Bloomberg got a first look at renderings of the new restaurants, and OTG (the management company and airport dining specialist at the helm this transformation) sends over a few more. These reveal that the restaurants will be equipped with the following:
- An iPad for every single seat at every single table and bar. That means a four-top is equipped with not one but four iPads, and that the terminal will house a total of 6,000 iPads in all.
- Rotating signs and moveable walls, so that kiosks can be transformed from, say, a bagel shop into Mario Carbone's Italian deli, depending on the time of day.
- Lots of large, glowing fixtures, made from metal mesh embedded with LED lights, which will all light up at night.
- Area rugs, in what is either a very bold or very foolhardy attempt to make the place more comfortable.
Here are a few more choice renderings created by the Rockwell Group, which is designing many of the airport's dining options.
Above is the bar at Saison, the restaurant that OTG is partnering with Alain Ducasse on. Just your average, classy French bistro, outfitted with an army of iPads.
Above is part of what's called the "World Bazaar," a central hub of grab-and-go kiosks. This is what it looks like in the morning, when the counters will serve things like waffles and crepes.
Above is the exact same view of the World Bazaar, only at night, when the waffle counter has been magically transformed into a barbecue counter.
The new dining options at Newark Airport are slated to open over the course of the next year, with the first coming this summer. Travellers in the meantime should note that most of these furnishings are being constructed off-site, so Terminal C won't be too much of a construction zone in the meantime.