Wednesday , August 09, 2017 - 5:00 AM1 comment
OGDEN — Fifty years of cinnamon rolls and scones at the Auger Inn at the Ogden-Hinckley Airport have come to an end, at least for now.
“Business was so slow that I got behind on my rent,” said owner Debbie Bateman. She said she was told by airport officials that her lease would not be renewed.
Tom Christopulos, director of Ogden city community and economic development, said Bateman decided not to renew her lease. He said there also were confidential financial reasons for the decision.
“We didn’t increase the lease amount or anything,” Christopulos said. “Maybe she decided it wasn’t profitable.”
The city hopes the restaurant will open again under new management, Christopulos said.
“Auger Inn has been there for a long time,” Christopulos said. “Our hope is to get someone who can operate it as the Auger Inn.”
At times, the restaurant was a popular attraction, Bateman said, reporting a “banner year” before changes came to the airport in 2012.
The restaurant’s business had suffered since a 2012 remodel when the airport adopted a commercial airline, said Auger Inn Manager Tyler Liptrap. Before that time, he said, pilots of small aircraft would land their planes and park near the terminal just to eat at Auger Inn.
At that time, the restaurant was open until 7 p.m. Those hours slowly crept back to 3 p.m., Bateman said, adding that she thinks the airport is too small to support a restaurant.
“People are just trying to get out and get to their families,” she said. “We mostly counted on our local people, which was dwindling off.”
Another blow came earlier this year, Liptrap said, when city officials discussed lease issues with the restaurant in public meetings.
“Word of mouth went around — people telling other people we were closed, so they stopped coming in,” he said.
Restaurant workers were notified at the first of July that the lease would not be renewed for this fiscal year, Liptrap said.
The menu ranged from omelets to cheeseburgers, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. A signature “Augerrita” was one item touted on the page. The dish was a cross between a burrito and an enchilada.
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Customers who could consume Auger Inn’s signature 3-pound cinnamon rolls got the treat for free, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.
The establishment was Liptrap’s first job as a cook and dishwasher 10 years ago.
“I liked everything about it,” Liptrap said. “I basically grew up in that restaurant. I loved being there every day.”
There were families who visited the restaurant regularly over time, Bateman said.
“We have watched lots of children grow up coming in with their families,” she said. “It’s a sad situation. It’s the restaurant business.”
Former Ogden resident Dee Dee Montgomery said she had great memories of going there with her dad.
“There was always a group of like-minded people there or let's lovingly say ‘airport bums’ or even ‘family,’ " she said. “I had one of the best times in my life with these people and the fly-ins, 99ers, Christmas dinners, etc. Sure glad I got to be a part of it all.”
A sign remains on Hinkley Drive advertising the closed eatery.
There are no plans to reopen the restaurant anywhere else, Bateman said.
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