Photo by Heather Middleton
By M.J. Subiria Arauz
An airplane is taxiing, another aircraft has taken off and the 398-
foot air traffic control tower at Hartsfield-Jackson can be seen in
The scene at the world's busiest airport can be seen up close from
Airport View Restaurant, at 3670 Georgia Ave., Hapeville. Georgia
Avenue is adjacent to Perry J. Hudson Parkway.
"They [patrons] trust my food, my restaurant," said Restaurant Owner
Yong Choe, in a thick accent.
Choe, of South Korea, said the employees of the airport and its
surrounding businesses frequent his restaurant, which is open Mondays
through Fridays, from 10 a.m., to 3 p.m. He said workers from
companies such as Delta Air Lines, Air Tran Airways, U.S. Customs and
Border Protection and Wells Fargo come to eat.
Willie Pritchett, a firefighter with the Airport Fire Division of
City of Atlanta Fire Rescue, said he comes to Airport View because of
its great customer service, cleanliness and its "fantastic" view of
the airport. "The food is really good," added Pritchett.
Senior Patrol Officer Lorenzo Stripland said he is part of the
Atlanta Police Bomb Squad and serves the Atlanta Police Department
precinct at Hartsfield-Jackson.
Stripland said he has dined at the restaurant for about three years
and it is one of his favorite lunch spots because of the fresh and
tasty Southern food that is served. He said the eatery provides a
healthy salad bar, as well.
"It is very unique," said Stripland of the view. "You can see the
airport and the planes landing while you're eating."
James Becker, an employee at the neighboring regional operations
center of Wells Fargo, said he has enjoyed eating lunch at Airport
View for about five years. "It is a minute from work," said Becker of
Restaurant Owner Choe said many of his customers have been coming to
the restaurant for years. "There are many 10-year customers," he said.
T.E. Lee said he has been a loyal customer of Choe's for 20 years. "I
like his cooking," he said.
Lee said he was practically born at the airport and that his parents
lived where the current North Cargo building is located.
"The airplanes took off over the top of my house," said the current
The restaurant serves Southern-style food, such as meatloaf, fried
boneless and skinless chicken, potato cream soup, cornbread and cobbler.
The eatery only serves lunch, and prices range from $1.75 to $5.50,
said the owner. Patrons can partake in the all-you-can-eat salad and
fruit bar for $6.50. Customers can have soup from the bar for a
dollar extra, Choe said.
"We will start the dinner menu soon," he said.
He said he plans to roll out a dinner menu and a cocktail bar in
about two to three months. The menu would include shrimp cocktail,
steak and Southwestern chicken, he said.
Customers would be able to order mixed drinks, domestic and imported
beers and wines at the bar, said Choe. The average price for beer
would be $2.50 a bottle and wine for $3.50 a glass.
The breakfast menu is only available for patrons who make
reservations for special events or meetings, from 6 a.m., to 10 a.m.,
he said. Customers can also reserve space during regular operating
hours. Events scheduled for the breakfast menu are charged $12 per
When asked why he focused on Southern cuisine, Choe responded, "The
American dream allows you to start any kind of business."
Choe said Airport View Restaurant opened in July 1997 and he directly
operated it for seven years. While still owner of Airport View, he
said he opened Cafe Hwy 85, at 5214 Highway 85, Forest Park, in 2004
and focused his time there.
He said he came back to directly oversee Airport View in November 2010.
Choe said that in order to dedicate 100 percent of his time to
Airport View, he hired a manager to oversee Cafe Hwy 85, in February.
Choe said that in 1979, he moved to the U.S. and settled in Kentucky.
He said he attended the University of Kentucky, in Lexington, from
1979 to 1980.
He moved to Marietta in 1980 because his older sister lived there and
he wanted to be close to family.
Choe said that with the help of his sister and his brother-in-law, he
opened his first restaurant in Fayette County, called Paw Paw's
Cafeteria and BBQ, in 1985.