An Einstein Bros. Bagels franchise is expected to open this spring at Northwest Arkansas National Airport (XNA) in Highfill.
Mike Philip, co-owner of Springdale-based franchisee Philip Enterprises Inc., said the store should open late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter of this year.
The Fayetteville native opened an Einstein Bros. Bagels franchise in Rogers about 14 years ago and another in Fayetteville about five years later. Shortly thereafter, he acquired Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchises and opened other area locations. He owns two Einstein Bros. Bagels and six Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchises, all in Northwest Arkansas.
The nearly 1,200-square-foot XNA location is planned to be built in the existing seating area at the east side of the terminal between the Auntie Anne’s and Smokewood American Grill. According to a proposal to XNA, Philip Enterprises will invest about $350,000 into the new location. XNA will spend between $50,000 and $70,000 for utility and grease trap connections.
In September, XNA requested proposals for a coffee-focused, quick-service restaurant. Staff received two proposals: one from Allen and Kendrick LLC, proposing an Onyx Coffee Lab, and the proposal from Philip Enterprises, which XNA staff selected based on a higher overall score. In December, XNA board members approved staff to negotiate terms with Philip Enterprises for the new location.
XNA has seven existing restaurant and food establishments, all operated by food vendor Paradies Lagardere. The Einstein Bros. Bagels franchise will be the first at XNA that’s not operated by the vendor.
Philip said he will operate it similarly to the other area locations. The XNA location will be larger than typical airport locations for the brand and will include some seating. Hours are planned to be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but they could change depending on demand. It will have between eight and 12 employees.
He owns Philip Enterprises along with his wife, Heather, and operating partner, Aaron Nickell.