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Airport to revise the language in Mexican restaurant’s lease

MARTINSBURG — The Altoona-Blair County Airport Authority has agreed to language revisions in its lease with the operator of a Mexican restaurant, a step that is expected to pave the way for securing the state’s approval on a liquor license.

The state Liquor Control Board legal department asked for the lease be modified so it’s clear that the airport holds the liquor license, airport Solicitor David Pertile told the airport authority during its monthly meeting on Monday night.

While that has been the intention for months, Pertile said the airport’s lease with LaFiesta was signed prior to the airport’s filing of an application for a liquor license. With the anticipated license, the airport will be allowing LaFiesta to initiate sales of alcoholic beverages with food.

The authority agreed to language changes in the lease after meeting with Pertile in executive session, airport Manager Tracy Plessinger said Tuesday. The language changes, Plessinger said, will not affect any other part of the existing lease.

With LaFiesta’s approval of the language changes, the updated lease will be submitted as soon as possible to the state, Pertile said, so the license could be rendered in about a month.

The airport authority has long been interested in a liquor license for use by its restaurant operator. Over the years, the airport’s restaurant has had several operators who struggled to stay in business or closed.

LaFiesta, which opened in April, has been supportive of the airport’s quest, which would put it in a position to begin selling alcoholic beverages. Until then, the restaurant is allowing patrons to bring in their own liquor for consumption with food.

In the May 2019 primary, North Woodbury Township residents voted 244-204 in favor of the airport’s pursuit of a liquor license in the otherwise dry township.

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