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"Rialto Airport cafe changes hands"
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- Subject: CAA: GA News, "Rialto Airport cafe changes hands"
- From: "Stephen Irwin" <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2002 02:00:20 -0800
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Saturday, December 7, 2002
Airport cafe changes hands
Rialto approves lease transfer as former owners plan to retire
By BRIAN McCARTHY
The Inland Valley (CA) Daily Bulletin
RIALTO -- Location is everything for Rialto Air and Sport Cafe, whose
customers have been known to drop in from many miles away.
And the cafe, just off the tarmac at the Rialto Airport, soon might have
a new owner. The current holders of the restaurant's lease, George and
Willie Wehrman, are ready to retire after finishing an extensive
renovation of the cafe.
"I am a little disappointed, because we got this lease in 1999, and it
took us almost two years to get the place going. Now that we have got it
refurbished, it is time to retire,' said George Wehrman.
As required in their agreement with the city, the Wehrmans on Tuesday
received City Council approval to transfer the cafe's lease to Maria
The terms of the lease, signed by the Wehrmans and the city in November
1999, state that the lease may be transferred "with the written consent
of the City.' With the Council's approval Tuesday, the couple can now
move forward with plans to sell the cafe.
They are in discussion with Gonzales to take over the proprietorship of
the cafe, according to a report to the council by Richard Scanlan, the
city's director of aviation and solid waste management.
"Ms. Gonzales has several years of food-service experience as the owner
of a food preparation and catering service. She lost her prior business
location due to an Ontario Airport expansion project,' Scanlan said in
the report. "As owner/operator of the Airport cafe, Ms. Gonzales would
like to add Mexican and Asian dishes to the already substantial menu
Those offerings include breakfast and lunch menus that are enjoyed by
employees of the airport and nearby business, as well as pilots who fly
over from nearby small airports.
"We get a lot of compliments on our food. Our breakfast pancakes and
eggs dish is very popular in the mornings, at lunch it is mostly
hamburgers,' Wehrman said.
Most of their customer base comes from word of mouth.
"That, and the ad in the PennySaver,' he said. "We had a sign down at
Base Line Road and Linden, but the city took it down. We would really
like to have it back.'
Wehrman said they named it Sport cafe because of the drag strip at the
airport, but drag racing was discontinued there.
"The FAA had some concerns about the race track next to the runway, and
they asked us to take it out.' Scanlan said. "I am trying to get them to
let us put it up again on the north side of the runway.'
Currently, the final details of the lease transfer are still under
Wehrman said that if the deal does go through, "I don't have any
specific plans for retirement, but I would like to travel with my
airplane a bit.'
Wehrman is a pilot and owns a Cessna 210. Rialto Airport has been in
business since the 1940s. It was purchased by the City of Rialto in
There are 250 aircraft based at the airport.
"We have about 150,000 take off/landing operations a year, which is the
way you rate airport operations.' Scanlan said. "About half of those are
The airport is also the home base of Mercy Air Ambulance, Art Scholl
Aviation, Rialto Aircraft Services and the headquarters for the San
Bernardino County Aviation Division. The headquarters of the Emergency
Communications Center for San Bernardino County are located adjacent to
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