Thursday, February 21, 2013
Lodi Airport and Cafe – a great place for kids and adults
By Kim Tennant
The Sacramento (CA) Press
A restored DC3 displays a sign of the Cafe
If you’re looking for a place where kids can experience an airport the way it used to be in the 1940s and 1950s, check out Lodi Airport, located along Highway 99 in Acampo. According to owner Robert Kupka, the airport started in 1929 with one dirt runway which was paved in the 1940s, and in the 1960s a second runway was added. Mr. Kupka purchased the airport in 1978, and since that time has added hangars and outbuildings. The Airport Cafe, newly renovated in 2012, graces the frontage road. The airport and cafe are both open seven days a week.
The cafe has an aviator interior with a hangar-style ceiling of corrugated steel, a DC 3 wing tip on the wall and large windows that offer views of the airport tarmac. While enjoying a delicious breakfast or lunch, customers can watch Cessnas and Beechcrafts take off and land, and traffic speed along State Route 99. If one stays long enough, he or she might see ultralight aircraft landing on the runway in front of the cafe, or skydivers making their final approach a short distance away. “All sorts of people visit the cafe,” Robert Kupka said. “We have firefighters from Lodi and Galt, Kiwanis, police departments, pilots, locals, and travelers along Highway 99.”
JoAnn Kupka has owned the cafe for 24 years, and it is apparent she has made the cafe a labor of love. The cafe is open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m and offers traditional breakfasts and lunches.
The Parachute Center is one of the largest and oldest in the United States, and offers training in skydiving. The center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., depending on the weather. The airport has flight schools and clubs, hangars for storing aircraft, aircraft sales and service, and offers flight instruction ranging from commercial to sport aviation. There are even lessons to operate a trike, a motorized hanglider.
Directions: Take Highway 99 south of Lodi, and take the Jahant Road exit. Follow the parachute signs to the airport, where you will find a recently restored DC 3 parked on the tarmac.
Lodi Airport Cafe
23987 N. Highway 99
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