New restaurant coming to Barnes

WESTFIELD – Following the closing of The Runway restaurant in June, the city has been looking for a new tenant, and has now found one.
Peter Pappas, a notable area developer and restaurateur from Wilbraham who has resided in Southwick since 2007, has been chosen by the city to run a new establishment in the area which was formally occupied by The Runway.
The announcement was made yesterday morning at Barnes, with Mayor Daniel M. Knapik, City Advancement Officer Jeff Daley, Barnes Regional Aiport Manager Brian Barnes, and Pappas on hand to speak on the exciting new venture, set to be named “P-Apps”, pronounced “Papps.”
“It’s what any developer wants to see – is there a team who they can work with and get things done?” Pappas said before thanking Knapik, Daley, and the selection committee. “I think it’s an excellent city to invest in, I can see the transformation in front of my eyes. With what’s happening downtown, with the university, and with this airport facility, it’s a place I want to invest in.”
Pappas, who worked in international business for 30 years, owned and ran several restaurants including Onyx Fusion in the building that once housed the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. He is currently developing fourteen luxury homes on The Ranch Golf Course in Southwick. He is looking to utilize nearly one million dollars and his considerable experience and knowledge of the restaurant business to make P-Apps a success.
“I have Greek heritage, so I’m bringing some of those influences. I’ve also learned a bit about Asian cuisine from Chef Isaac Bancaco at Onyx,” Pappas said. “It’ll be a fine casual dining experience… a casual dining price point in a fine dining atmosphere.”
Pappas said that the room, which was barren yesterday, would be home to a large center bar with booth seating for up to a party of six, where patrons could enjoy either a quick meal or a few hours of cocktails and dining.
“There will also be an open kitchen right in front of the patrons, which will add to the grill type menu,” he added, before saying the 1,400 square foot restaurant will be able to seat between 60 and 70 people, and will employ around 25 people. “We see Barnes as a destination site and we want to add to that.”
“We’re very pleased,” Knapik said of the decision to bring Pappas aboard. “His vision for this facility is second to none, and I think the citizens of Westfield will be very happy with it. We couldn’t be more happy with the growth of Barnes, this fits in perfectly… I’ve known Mr. Pappas for a few years. He does quality work, and I have nothing but great expectations for this endeavor.”
“This site requires a uniqueness,” Pappas added. “I can’t be the same as everyone else. I have to be better. It’s the same in business and in government.”
Daley added that yesterday’s event was strictly an announcement, saying that Pappas’ restaurant is the city’s choice establishment, and that lease negotiations will be held soon, which will be followed by presentations to Westfield’s Airport Commission and City Council, which will be followed by the acquisition of the necessary building permits.
The hope among city officials is the process will be finished by late December, while Pappas has a prospective opening date set for “mid-2014”.
Barnes himself believes that the airport, which hosts 50,000 landings a year in addition to the guardsmen at the nearby Barnes Air National Guard Base and employees at Gulfstream, is doing right by bringing in Pappas’ establishment.
“People come here and are always asking about it,” he said. “‘Where’s the restaurant?’ We’re excited about it. We’re excited for the town. It’ll be well within the town’s price point. It’s going to be good for Westfield.”
Daley said that Pappas will be paying full taxes for his portion of the building and his business, as well as a monthly rent, and that the city is ready to put it’s ugly divorce with Paul B’Shara and The Runway behind it.
“B’Shara’s was the past. They’ve moved on. We’ve moved on,” Daley said. “We’re excited for Mr. Pappas. We think he’s going to hit a home run with the aviation community.”

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