JFK Isn't the First to Have a Bar on an Airplane — Here's Where You Can Have a Cocktail on an Aircraft
A new bar and lounge built inside a defunct TWA plane is opening up in New York City, but it’s not the only place in the world that brings the in-flight cocktail back to earth.
A 1958 Lockheed Constellation was taken back to John F. Kennedy airport last month, where it will serve as a chic, vintage cocktail lounge as part of a new hotel being built inside the formerly-abandoned TWA terminal at JFK.
The new hotel will be decorated as if you’ve just stepped into an episode of Mad Men — if it were set in an airport, that is. With so many beautiful mid-century modern 1950s and 1960s furnishings, artwork, and amenities, you might actually want to have an extra long layover in New York.
And the new TWA cocktail lounge will be another incredible addition to the space. However, it’s not the first time an airplane was converted into a bar or restaurant. Here's where you can find comparable airplane lounges around the world:
Solo's Airplane Restaurant: Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, Colorado
Solo's Airplane Restaurant is made from a U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-97 and boasts seating for 275 guests, 45 of which are inside the plane itself. Aviation buffs would especially love this bar since every inch is decorated as a send-up to aviation history. It’s a great place to get classic American diner food like a Reuben or cheeseburger, as well as amazing margaritas.
El Avión: Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
El Avión is famous for its seafood bar bites like calamari, ceviche, and coconut shrimp. Its inside a Fairchild C-123 Provider and located along the way to Manuel Antonio National Park, making it a fantastic place to stop and enjoy a beer or cocktail while taking in some of the most beautiful views in Costa Rica.
Steaks on a Plane: Bolton, England
Steaks on a Plane is a Boeing-737-turned-restaurant. Specializing in finger foods and classic takeout fare, this is a great, casual place for some in-flight meals right on the ground. If you’re in a hurry, you can even order a drink to go from the hatch of the plane, according to CNN.
Jumbo Bar: Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport, Sweden
Jumbo Bar isn’t just a bar and restaurant, it’s also part of a very trendy and modern hostel. The café and bar itself is located at the back of an old Boeing 747, while the rest of the plane holds several rooms and dorms. Both guests and the general public can hang out in the café for drinks, dessert, and delicious meals from breakfast to dinner.
La Tante DC10: Accra, Ghana
La Tante DC10, near the Marina Mall, in Accra, Ghana is an old McDonnell Douglas DC-10 that now serves up traditional Ghanaian fare like kelewele and jollof rice and plenty of hot dishes including fried fish, sauteéd duck, and guinea fowl. Of course, it’s also a fun place for a beer or cocktail. The restaurant recently went through renovations and has reopened with some fresh decor as well.
Hawai Adda: Ludhiana, Punjab, India
Hawai Adda is just one of the airplane bars and restaurants you can find in India. This location, in particular, is especially for people who love the finer things in life — and pizza. The plane itself was once an Airbus A320 operated by Air India, but now is an incredible spot for some delicious vegetarian food including pizza, pasta, and some traditional Indian flavors.
Runway 1: New Delhi, India
Runway 1, at the Metrowalk Mall, in New Delhi, India is nothing to sneeze at either. The luxurious restaurant is built inside an old Air India Airbus A320 and offers cuisine from all around the world including pizzas, rice and noodle dishes, and some non-vegetarian options as well. One particular feature of this restaurant is that some guests can even take a table on the wings of the plane (whereas most other airplane bars and restaurants have the wings removed to save space).
There have been plenty of other airplane bars and restaurants that have opened and closed over the years. The above restaurants are only a handful of the best ones you can find all over the world that are still open, very accessible, and make for an excellent adventure on your next trip.