Santa Paula Airport flying high with summer opening of Flight 126 Café

March 14, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula Times Santa Paula Airport will again have a restaurant featuring good home cooking for good friends when the owners of Café 126 open up their second eatery at the former Logsdon’s.

The opening of Flight 126 Café is targeted for June, according to Evie Kramer, who with her husband Ken Kramer owns the popular Café 126 in Saticoy.

The new restaurant will open in the coffee shop portion serving its famed all-day breakfast and lunch menu.

The airport restaurant was built by the Logsdon family for their namesake eatery to relocate to in 1991. For the most part the restaurant remained a family operation until the Great Recession and family illnesses forced its closure in February 2013.

Shortly thereafter the Santa Paula Airport Association, which owns the restaurant property, purchased the 8,000 square-foot building and last summer launched a request for proposal effort to find a restaurant tenant.

There was no interest in the location until an airport regular and customer of Café 126 urged the Kramers to consider opening up a second restaurant at the airport.

Now, with the lease signed and “kinks” being worked out, Santa Paula Airport Association President Rowena Mason said, “We’re very excited, we think it’s going to be a perfect fit for the airport,” which saw a slowdown in visits-and use of some airport aviation businesses and services-once Logsdon’s closed.

“Right now we’re anxious to get going,” to finalize county permitting and upgrades to the kitchen.

Mason noted, “The idea is to get it up and running and have a great operation going... it’s going to be just fabulous for everybody involved, we’re just excited, it means so much to the airport and the community.”

Café 126 has been a multi-generation family business now owned by the Kramers.

“We will be bringing pretty much the same menu, the same smiley people,” to the new location, said Ken Kramer who noted “The uniqueness of it,” was the initial attraction to open at the airport.

“I just have to say Santa Paula is a cool little town, has some real history to it, especially the airport,” that he noted along with the community has “neat, neat people” all known from Café 126.

“We just want to bring that good old home cooking to people,” that is served at Café 126 which seats 55 people and employs 13.

Kramer anticipates there will be more seating at the Flight 126 Café and he is already thinking of perhaps staging special events occasionally such as motorcycle shows during the First Sunday of the Month open houses.

“A lot of motorcyclists go through Santa Paula and I want to incorporate that,” into future activities.

The Kramers are also considering expansion and perhaps offering banquet room service in the future: “We don’t turn down any business,” and coordinating with “The great airport association, we’ll cater to whatever business we can... “

“We’re taking everybody’s input,” said Evie Kramer and, “they all seem to want the same menu that we’ll spice up with specials.

“People are looking forward to having their regular booth back,” once Flight 126 Café opens.

The décor will be “Vintage airport and we’re looking to keep it local as much as possible,” with Santa Paula photos and decorations.

“We’ll have the same hometown feel of Café 126,” where regulars grab their personal coffee cups on wall pegs when they come in.

Café 126 has already been active in the community as one of the restaurants offering tastings at the annual Moonlight at the Ranch fundraiser enjoyed by its employees.

“We have great employees and have great patrons,” which are the cause of Café 126’s success.

Said Ken Kramer, “We didn’t do it, they did...”

Café 126 Manager Lisa Anderson said the employees were told Friday the Kramer’s were opening a second restaurant.

She said hours would be 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day except Sunday when service is 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Present part-time employees will be offered openings at the new café and Anderson said former Logsdon’s employees would also be courted.

“We’re asking our Santa Paula customers ‘who did you love?’ so we can try to bring them back as a server,” at the new Flight 126 Café.

Perhaps the Kramers are the only ones that didn’t realize the impact of opening a branch of an already popular restaurant at the airport, which has missed a gathering place as well as its draw for visitors and commerce.

“We’re really very excited about the response from everybody,” said Evie Kramer. “We think it’s a good thing... and we look forward to serving Santa Paula.”

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