After 13 years of serving up eggs Benedict with handmade hollandaise and ribs slathered in the house special chipotle prickly pear barbecue sauce, Todd’s Restaurant at Ryan Airfield in Three Points is officially closed.
The restaurant, 9700 W. Ajo Way at the edge of the airfield, has been unofficially closed since late September. That’s when owners Todd and Shari Scott moved everything out of the building, from the kitchen equipment to the artwork on the walls, to make way for a $120,000 Tucson Airport Authority renovation project.
Work — which included a new roof, new booths and maintenance on the air conditioning and heating systems — stretched through the month of October and into early November, when the couple had anticipated signing a new lease and reopening. But the Scotts and the TAA couldn’t come together on one issue: operating hours.
The airport wanted the restaurant to be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the couple wanted to continue opening at 8 a.m.
“They just didn’t want to (open early). From all indications we have, that is a big deal with people who want to use that restaurant,” said TAA spokesman David Hatfield, the senior director of business development and marketing.
Shari Scott said the extra two hours wouldn’t have done much for the restaurant’s bottom line. She and her husband had been struggling since the economic downturn, which was partly to blame for the loss in 2008 of one of Ryan Field’s biggest tenants — a flight school with 250 students from around the globe.
“It was a bit challenging,” Scott said. “They’ve never replaced any of these tenants, but we managed to get through.”
The TAA has received three inquiries from Tucson restaurant operators interested in the space. Hatfield said the agency hopes to have a restaurant open again in January.
Scott said she and her husband have no immediate plans to open a restaurant, but they are considering working on bottling their barbecue sauce, which was a hit with diners.
“We’re just taking some time to re-evaluate and decide what to do next,” she said.