Historic eatery Tailspin Tommy's closing its doors

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Southwest Fresno eatery is closing its doors. Tailspin Tommy's was known not just for its food, but for its history too. We visited with the owner and customers during their last lunch.

Just off the runway at the Chandler Airport in Southwest Fresno, both the conversation and coffee were flowing at Tailspin Tommy's Aerodrome Eatery. Pilots and aviation enthusiasts make up most of the regulars. Richard Bagdasarian is one of those regulars: "Lot of the old timers come in here, a lot of new people come in here. They like flying in, they like the airport. So it's a lot of history."

The dining space once served as the airport's main terminal, which has been around since 1929. But for the owners, time and money ran out. Geneva McJunkin spent the day saying goodbye to customers. She and her husband have full-time jobs, and poured their savings into the restaurant for three years. Closing wasn't an easy decision: "Very emotional. Very emotional. I can't believe we won't have this place anymore," said a teary-eyed Geneva. But she says, even with so much lost, there's something gained: "A lot of friendships we had before have been strengthened because of this place. We have new friendships now that we'll have forever."

Shirley Boling took her seat in her favorite corner, hoping this wasn't her last meal here. She said her women's pilot's club will be looking for a new place to meet. "I mean, this is such a neat place. Look! You can watch the planes come and go. It's sad. I hope somebody takes it over pretty quickly."

But for now, the last BLT's have been served, and the always welcoming open sign has gone dark. The place has had several owners over the years. The current owners are hoping a buyer steps forward to keep the restaurant going.

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