SAVOY — University of Illinois Willard Airport is losing its only food and beverages provider outside of its vending machines.
Einstein Bros. Bagels currently operates in the airport’s departure lounge but won’t be around much longer.
“We’re looking into other avenues right now,” said Andrew Smith, assistant director of operations and maintenance at the Savoy airport.
The Illini Union announced Monday night that BOAST LLC, which operates as Einstein Bros. Bagels and Nic’s Cafe, would be permanently closing the airport location along with all four of its locations on campus — in the Illini Union, Armory, Seibel Center for Design and College of Veterinary Medicine.
Smith said Einstein Bros.’ presence at the airport has been spotty since early in the year.
The airport does provide coffee and water for passengers flying out, but replacing Einstein Bros. with another vendor is important, he said.
“I think there’s demand,” Smith said. “Who doesn’t want a coffee and bagel when they’re waiting for their flight?”
It’s a matter of finding a vendor that can line up with flight schedules at Willard, Smith said.
“We have two early-morning flights and two around midday,” he said. “Pre-COVID, flights were going in and out throughout the day.”