First new restaurant to open at Terminal 5 in 20 years
Tortas Frontera, the highly acclaimed fast, flavorful and fresh modern Mexican concept by local chef/restauranteur Rick Bayless, has celebrated its grand opening in O’Hare International Terminal 5 (T5). The opening marks the first new restaurant to open in Terminal 5 since it started operations in 1993. When complete, the massive Terminal 5 transformation by Westfield will bring world-class dining and retail post-security – including 15 new dining and retail brands, cutting-edge design and new passenger amenities throughout.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Tortas Frontera to Terminal 5 and introduce O’Hare’s global travelers to the fresh, sustainable and delicious food Chicago’s very own Chef Rick brings to the table,” said Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. “With the world-class transformation well underway at T5, we are fulfilling Mayor Emanuel’s vision to showcase Chicago as a vibrant, culturally rich destination and continue to raise the bar for airport concessions programs across the country.”
O’Hare Terminal 5 passengers can now explore the amazing flavors of Mexico with a diverse menu featuring hand-crafted tortas (griddle-baked sandwiches), cazuelas (slow-simmered casseroles), fresh-made guacamole and hand-shaken premium margaritas. Menu standouts include the pepito torta with beer-braised beef short ribs, pickled jalapeños, Chihuahua cheese, black beans, cilantro crema and arugula; corn and poblano chowder with roasted green chile and queso Cotija; and raspberry prickly pear agua fresco with fresh-squeezed lime juice. The restaurant takes pride in using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and displays a full list of its sustainable purveyors and farmers next to its menu, including Intelligentsia Coffee (Chicago), LaBriola Baking (Alsip, IL) and Klug Farms (St. Joseph, MI). Bayless also operates two locations in Terminals 1 and 3 at O’Hare.
“Tortas Frontera represents the future of airport concessions, with innovative, high quality dining that exceeds travelers’ highest expectations,” said Dominic Lowe, Executive Vice President, Westfield.
The Terminal 5 Tortas Frontera is operated by Areas USA ORD, LLC and its joint venture partner, Dee Robinson Reid of Robinson Hill, Inc., tenant partners of Westfield providing food and beverage offerings within T5. “We are off to a great start and look forward to opening many more exciting dining options at Terminal 5 and enhancing the traveler experience,” said Xavier Rabell, CEO of Areas USA.
“We’re thrilled to introduce Frontera to T5 as we continue our commitment to bring best-of-the-best brands and an exceptional customer experience to Chicago airports,” said Dee Robinson Reid, President of Robinson Hill.
The 1,857-square-foot space is the first dine-in airport location for Frontera, but also offers to-go service. O’Hare’s Tortas Frontera restaurants have appeared on several “best of” lists, won numerous concessions awards and received rave reviews from travelers and food critics alike. Tortas Frontera’s Terminal 5 debut follows recent openings from iconic Swiss watchmaker Swatch, Hudson News shops and Dufry – all located post-security to enhance the traveler experience.
As Westfield’s redevelopment of the concessions program at Terminal 5 continues, travelers have already experienced significant upgrades to the news and gift, duty-free and food and beverage operations. Previously, 95 percent of the terminal’s dining and retail options were located pre-security, making it difficult for passengers to access dining and shopping while waiting for flights. The redeveloped terminal will offer a re-engineered layout, including a new TSA checkpoint and a European-style pass-through duty-free shop, to enhance the traveler experience.