Folks passing through the Detroit Metropolitan Airport can get a mouthful of Mexico at the Jose Cuervo Tequileria-a bar and eatery. Don't expect mere chips and chimichangas. We're talking corn pancakes, tacos with eggs and chorizo sausage and more. All 10 Cuervo tequilas are available.
The tequileria is a joint effort between the Mexican distiller and Host Marriott Services, which runs restaurants in airports and shopping malls around the world.
Stan Novack, 54, VP of concept development for Host Marriott, created the tie-in. He is responsible for other airport oases including 17 Cheers bars and nine Samuel Adams Brewhouse in airports. as well as a Jack Daniel's-inspired bar in Memphis.
Mr. Novack says the tequileria plays off the fun associated with tequila-beach volleyball and other warm weather activities as well the drink's Mexican heritage. The executive, who has been with Marriott Host for 25 years, plans to open tequilerias in Phoenix and in Miami, Others are expected to be opened in yet-to-be-determined airports.
Host has about 400 restaurants, but the seven-month-old tequileria is one of its 10 top performers, Mr. Novak says. In the restaurant's first six months, it more than doubled food and liquor sales of the Host Mexican restaurant that formerly occupied the spot, he says.
Mr. Novack had to woo Cuervo for a couple of months before it agree. "Cuervo is very concerned about brand equity," he says.
The Cuervo brand is on a roll-U.S. sales for its Authentic Margaritas grew 29%