NYC’s famed steakhouse, The Palm opens...

SSP News Release 8-March-2010

SSP America, a division of SSP, the leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, has celebrated the grand opening of The Palm Bar & Grille at JFK International Airport Terminal 4, marking the first airport location of the famed New York steakhouse.

At the celebration, The Palm’s Co-Chairman and Co-Owner Wally Ganzi, was joined by New York State Governor David A. Paterson; Jerry Spampanato, General Manager, JFK International Airport, Port Authority of New York/New Jersey; SSP CEO Andrew Lynch; SSP America President and CEO Les Cappetta; Alain Maca, President of JFK IAT, LLC; and Janice Holden, Chief Commercial Officer of JFK IAT, LLC, the company that operates the terminal.

The Palm Bar & Grille is located in the pre-security, public area of Terminal 4, one of New York City’s largest terminals, and is easily accessible to the more than nine million travellers passing through the terminal each year, their family, friends and “meeters and greeters”, as well as thousands of airport employees, airline workers and service providers, and many others who make up the JFK Airport business community.

The restaurant is part of SSP America’s new line-up of food and beverage options at Terminal 4. The Palm Bar & Grille, created by The Palm Restaurant, “the classic American steakhouse,” is one of many brands to debut at Terminal 4 in the last year. Founded on Second Avenue in New York City by Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi in 1926, The Palm has grown to be the oldest family-owned, white tablecloth restaurant to expand across the United States. The Palm is known for its hospitality, generous portions, and caricature adorned walls. Busy travellers passing through Terminal 4 will enjoy The Palm’s prime cuts of meat and popular Italian and seafood dishes.

“SSP’s investment in JFK’s Terminal 4 underscores our vision to redefine ‘airport dining,’” said Les Cappetta, chief executive officer of SSP America. “Our mission is to elevate travellers’ dining experiences in airports across the nation and our partnership with JFK IAT is helping us do just that in New York City, one of the most important gateways to the world.”

JFK Terminal 4 is home to 40 international and domestic airlines from 30 countries with an annual passenger volume that reached 9.5 million travellers in 2009, including more than 4.5 million departing passengers.

Alain Maca, JFK IAT President noted, “The airport community has long sought a high quality restaurant that would be a place to gather to do business, and where everyone would feel welcome. SSP America has achieved that vision at Terminal 4 with The Palm Bar & Grille. Their team truly understands the airport environment and the community we serve, and that’s what makes the SSP/IAT partnership rock solid.”

“JFK IAT is excited to continue working with our partner, SSP America, to create a food and beverage program of culinary offerings that reflects the city we live in and, at the same time, meets the needs of our travellers,” said Janice Holden, chief commercial officer, JFK IAT, LLC. “The new restaurants have been well received by the travelling public. We are confident that The Palm Bar & Grille will meet with the same success and will raise the bar even higher.”

“The Palm has an unwavering commitment to providing our guests with only the highest quality food, unparalleled customer service and a casual but refined atmosphere that has made our restaurants a legend all across the U.S., Mexico and London,” said Wally Ganzi, Co-Owner and Co-Chairman of The Palm Restaurant Group. “We are thrilled to partner with SSP America and launch the first Palm Bar & Grille in New York, less than 20 miles away from the original Palm restaurant on Second Avenue. I look forward to personally working with SSP’s Andrew Lynch to introduce The Palm Bar & Grille in additional cities in the U.S. and Europe.”

“It is a pleasure to witness two of New York’s great institutions join forces here today as SSP America has partnered with The Palm to bring its international legacy to JFK Airport, and in particular, to Terminal 4, where the former International Arrivals Building used to stand,” Governor Paterson said. “I look forward to New Yorkers and visitors of our great State enjoying the Palm experience in Terminal 4 for many years to come.”

The Palm Bar & Grille at JFK Terminal 4 features a private dining room for meetings and events and offers private catering from breakfast to evening dining.

At the event, SSP America announced its partnership with USGAVE. This partnership, the first of its kind in the airport market, will provide qualified veterans the opportunity to partake in a mentoring program to become business owners and managers within SSP’s broad portfolio of restaurants.

In July 2009, SSP America announced a new restaurant line-up at Terminal 4, which includes The Palm Bar & Grille as well as the first U.S. location for the popular European seafood restaurant Seafood Bar by Caviar House & Prunier.

SSP’s other new restaurants at Terminal 4 include: Zpizza, offering lighter, healthier and creative pizzas, two new post-security sit-down restaurants Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar and Tigin Irish Pub & Restaurant (slated to open in May 2010), as well as two international bakery concepts, Upper Crust and Panopolis, both offering high quality baked goods and sandwiches. Panda Express, the nation’s leading Chinese fast-casual restaurant and Peet’s Coffee & Tea, which offers a superior and distinctive range of coffees brewed from the highest quality beans from around the world, have also opened locations at JFK Terminal 4.

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