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Airplane-themed restaurant provides quality food, interesting environment

Kyler Garza | The Feather Online

The Crispy Chicken Burger is one of the menu items created by Thatcher Mills at the Hanger Restaurant in Fresno; it is served with ranch dressing and ketchup.

With propellers hanging from the ceiling and a replica of a P-51 Mustang war plane sticking out of the wall, the Hangar Restaurant attracts guests with its aircraft-themed atmosphere. 

Open since July 26, employees wear shirts which promote “I’m just plane crazy” as customers indulge in world-class burgers designed by an award-winning chef.

Chef entrepreneur Thatcher Mills graduated at the top of his class from the International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Los Angeles in 2011. He combines his experience as a restaurant consultant and executive chef with his culinary creativity, producing top-of-the-line eats.

“Imagine combining world class delicious food with a theme park experience and airplanes,” Thatcher said. “Why airplanes? Because who does not think airplanes are cool from a two-year-old on up. Everyone loves airplanes.” 

According to Fox News, FCS alumnus Chris Lee, ’94, teamed up with the senior vice president creator at Walt Disney Company along with the founder of the Yard House to dream up the restaurant concept.

Growing up in Fresno, Lee wanted the first Hangar to be located in his hometown. Lee then plans to build more restaurants throughout the country.

“We will be building these all over the country, but I wanted the first one to be built in my hometown, Fresno.,” Lee said on Fox News. “I want to be able to give back to local charities and the Hangar will allow me to do this.”

More of a fast-casual restaurant, serving food like burgers, salads, fries and crispy Brussels sprouts, the Hangar uses fruits and vegetables grown in the Central San Joaquin Valley. It also features its own in-house barbecue sauce called 142 BBQ  sauce created by former MLB pitcher Bobby Jones (father of Feather photographer, Avery Jones).

Employee and former FCS student from the class of 2019, Megan Raynes’ favorite burger at the Hangar is the Western Burger with crinkle cut seasoned fries. Raynes became interested in working at the restaurant after hearing about it from a family friend.

Megan LeBlanc | The Feather Online

Along with various other executives and owners, FCS alumnus Chris Lee, ’94, dreamt up the starting concept for the Hangar.

Raynes’ favorite part of the job consists of the look of excited children as they see the airplanes all over the restaurant.

Customers are provided an option to substitute in a vegan black bean burger for any of the burgers on the menu, with gluten-free lettuce wraps available upon request.

The menu by chef Mills features burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, salads and ice cream. Most dishes range from $7.50 to $12.50.

The dessert menu, dubbed Landing Gear, features banana splits, ice cream floats and California-based McConnell’s ice cream, with one of their desserts named “How you like them apples.”

The “first class sundae” serves four to six people and has four scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, glazed doughnut holes and chocolate sauce. Customers then pick three toppings from options like Reese’s Pieces, Oreos or gummy bears.

First time diner at the Hanger, Ron (last name withheld) enjoyed the tri-tip sandwich the restaurant provided. He enjoyed one of the most popular meals and states it was money well spent.

Megan LeBlanc | The Feather Online

The Hangars tri tip sandwich comes with extra 142 BBQ sauce along with a side of their crinkle cut fries.

The Crispy Chicken Burger provided a good flavor and crunch, with the fried chicken not over cooked or dry. There were several toppings like pickles, lettuce, and tomato with ranch and ketchup upon request.

The portion of the meal was worth the price, and I recommend it for any first time customer. For a drink, the homemade strawberry lemonade provided a sour and bitter taste.

Around 4 p.m. the restaurant wasn’t as packed with a few customers strolling in, the atmosphere became very chill and a good place to hang out. A few families came in and their children enjoyed the decorations of airplanes all over the restaurant.

The Hangar provides a family-friendly environment with unique decorations along the way such as an airplane sticking out of a wall and soda gas pumps.

The Hangar is located on 190 El Camino road at the River Park Shopping Center. It is open Monday through Sunday with the hours of 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., their number is (559) 573-7353.

For another food review, read Farm Fresh Bowls provides variety of healthy options. 

For more articles read, EDITORIAL: Modern day slavery impacts people of all ages, races, genders, backgrounds or Book Review: Indianapolis.

Kyler Garza can be reached via email.

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