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December 08, 2011 | ESG, Shop. Dine. Relax, YEG News Releases

Le nouveau hall central encourage les boutiques et les restaurants de l'AIE

First phase of Expansion 2012 unwrapped for the holidays with 12 shops and restaurants  

December 8, 2011 (Edmonton, Alta.) - Edmonton International Airport (EIA) customers are now enjoying a wider variety of shopping and dining in the newly expanded, 1 500 square-metre Central Hall just in time for the holidays. From a sophisticated steakhouse to the latest in mobile technology, Central Hall's 12 shops and restaurants are sure to sate holiday travellers' appetites for tasty food and chic presents.

"Through our regular surveys, social media and interactions with staff, our customers are continually asking for more shopping and dining choices," says Reg Milley, EIA President and CEO. "We are delivering. This opening marks the beginning of an expansion of a lifetime, ushering in a higher level service, comfort and convenience at EIA."

Central Hall is now home to Houston Steaks & Ribs, Brioche Dorée, iStore, Sunglass Hut, Mexx, Artizan and Kids Works. They are joined by new locations for Hudson News, Starbucks, Booster Juice, Indigospirit and Tech on the Go.

"With this opening and the new terminal opening next year, EIA is becoming more than an airport, it's a becoming a destination," says Myron Keehn, EIA Vice-President, Commercial Development. "We'll more than double the number of shops and dining options available at EIA by the time all phases of the new terminal are open next year."

This new concessions area also adds approximately 400 jobs. A total of 800 concessions jobs will be added to EIA once the new terminal is complete next year. That's a 20 per cent boost to EIA's current workforce of 4,000.

A ‘taste’ of Edmonton’s iconic shopping district

With its soaring heights and double-glazed windows, Central Hall welcomes domestic and international passengers with warm, natural light and superb views of the airfield. The large area is designed to resemble Old Strathcona-style storefronts and street features such as signage and lights. Central Hall is located just beyond central security screening.

The new food and retail area is part of Central Tower, which is now starting to resemble the landmark structure it’s designed to be with its folded ribbon exterior inspired by the windswept prairies that hallmark our region.

There’s no Grinch in this green building

Those Central Tower ribbons do more than evoke a sense of place; they also help control the amount of sunlight entering the building, keeping it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. That is just one of many sustainability features of the building. EIA is pursuing a Silver Level of LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for the Central Tower. The tower will fully open in the fall of 2012, capping off with the opening of the new NAV Canada control tower in December 2012.

Expansion 2012 will add 480 000 sq. ft. of new space to EIA when completed in 2012. The newly expanded terminal will provide customers with faster, easier movement through US, Canadian and international departures, more comfortable passenger lounges, and 34 new shopping and dining outlets. The terminal is set to officially welcome the public on February 11, 2012 with the opening of the US Departures Lounge and customs facility.

To catch a sneak peek of the new terminal, EIA encourages the public to go online. EIA is sharing the excitement with everyone by posting information and photos through social media and on the website. Updates can be found at flyeia.com, through Twitter @flyeia, via Facebook, and on YouTube.

The Central Hall retail, food and beverage area opened on December 6, 2011.

Central Hall Shopping and Dining  

  • Located just pass central security screening, the area contains 12 concessions including shops, quick-serve food outlets, and a sit-down restaurant.
  • The store fronts are designed to reflect the look and feel of Old Strathcona on Whyte Avenue (82nd Avenue) in Edmonton.
  • Other features include a large lobby with comfortable seating and an observation deck with a superb view of the airfield. The Central Hall shops and dining area is 1 500 square metres.
  • Large double-glazed windows let in ample natural light.
  • Customers will find a wide selection of shops and services: Artizan, Booster Juice, Brioche Dorée, Houston Steak & Ribs, Hudson News, Indigospirit, Kids Works, Mexx, Starbucks, Sunglass Hut and Tech on the Go. Full brand profiles below.
  • The opening of Central Hall retail has created 400 jobs. By the end of 2012, a total 800 jobs will be created, increasing the overall number of people working at the airport by 20 percent.


Artizan started out as a home business in Quebec but exploded onto the North American retail scene in the late-2000s. Owner and creative director Robin Valliere Barré designs many of the jewelry, fashion accessories and gifts that are sold in 10 stores in Canada and the US, as well as through 1 500 other retail outlets.

Booster Juice

Booster Juice is a local success story. Canada's largest chain of fresh juice and smoothies got its start in Sherwood Park when founder Dale Wishewan opened the first store in 1999. Using a family-based franchise model, Wishewan partnered with US entrepreneur Jon Amack to expand the chain to over 100 locations across Canada by 2003. That same year, the chain went international when it opened its first US location. The chain now has 249 franchises in Canada, US, India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands.

Brioche Dorée

This French-based bakery and café chain provides quality hand-made sandwiches, garden salads, artisan breads, gourmet pastries and custom roasted coffees. Founded 1976 in Brest, France by Louis Le Duff, the chain has expanded to 500 restaurants world-wide including Canada, US, Switzerland, Luxembourg, UK, Argentina, the Persian Gulf nations, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Algeria.

Houston Steak & Ribs

The Quebec-based restaurant chain offers a sophisticated yet casual dining experience. Along with its lauded steaks and ribs, the menu offers seafood, chicken, pasta and salads for the palate. The chain has six restaurants in Eastern Canada. Edmonton International Airport will host the chain's first restaurant in Western Canada.

Hudson News

Hudson News offers a great selection of magazines, along with books, newspapers, and a wide variety of travellers' necessities, candy, snacks, bottled water and soft drinks. The flagship news retail chain for Hudson Group Retail Specialists, the outlet is prominent in 70 airports and transit centres in Canada and the US. The newsstand chain has operated in the US since 1918.


A special small book retail sub-chain of Indigo Books and Music, Indigo Spirit provides the service and feel of small bookstores while still giving customers access to the massive resource of books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, electronic reading and gifts of the retailer’s megastore counterpart.


Since 2001, the iStore has re-made the idea of retail service. More than just a place to buy new products or accessories, the iStore offers services such as product service, instruction or just a place to charge mobile devices before boarding. Products offered include Apple, Sony, Sennheiser and Monster Beats.

Kids Works

The specialty chain is a welcome sight for parents with young kids. The stores provide books, puzzles and games for children under the age of 12. Toys, books and games sold are ideal for travel as well as great return gift ideas.


The international fashion chain offers the latest clothing for men, women and children. Originally founded by Dutch fashion designer Rattan Chadha as separate men and women retail chains in 1980, the company combined them into a unisex store chain in 1986. There are now 65 stores worldwide including Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Mexx provides original fashions in both casual and professional wear.


The world leader of roasted coffee also provides a menu of fresh pastries, salads and sandwiches. Operating in Canada since 1987, the Seattle-based coffee giant takes pride in using Arabica whole coffee beans for roasting and blending. In time for the holidays, Starbucks is rolling out its trademark Christmas coffee blends.

Sunglass Hut

For nearly 35 years, the specialty eyewear store has provided stylish classical, sports and fashion sunglasses. The chain now operates 1 900 stores worldwide. Brands sold include big names such as Versace, Prada, Bulgari, Ray-Ban, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, and Dolce & Gabbana among others. The chain also carries accessories such as carrying cases, cords and other products.

Tech on the Go

The specialty electronics store provides products and accessories for everything that is mobile including digital cameras, notebook computers, MP3 players, PDAs and other software and hardware accessories. The store is geared to travellers looking for replacement products such as earphones, cables, chargers, memory cards and batteries. Many of the major electronic lines are carried including Sony, Phillips, Panasonic, Plantronics, iGo, Koss, Skullcandy and others.

More to Come!

Central Hall is the first phase of EIA's expansion retail program. Four other retail areas are set to open over the next 12 months including:

  • A new Mac’s convenience store in Arrivals for late December
  • Eight new retail outlets in US Departures for February 2012
  • Three new outlets in the current domestic/international lounge for spring 2012
  • Ten new outlets in the new domestic/international lounge for fall 2012

A total of 34 retail outlets will be operating in EIA by the end of 2012.