Press Releases

June 4, 2018

Dale Jr’s Whisky River Brings Good Times to Raleigh-Durham Travelers

HMSHost serves up southern hospitality with beloved NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Jr. cuts the grand opening ribbon at Whisky River Raleigh-Durham International Airport surrounded by representatives from HMSHost, J.Q. Enterprises, and RDU, as well as local politicians and community members. 

RDU Airport, N.C. — Good times and great food have landed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) with the grand opening of Dale Jr’s Whisky River in Terminal 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. officially opened his latest restaurant in partnership with global restaurateur HMSHost, and its joint venture partner J.Q. Enterprises, Inc., Monday with a grand opening celebration, ribbon cutting, and live music.

“We’re very excited to bring the Whisky River experience to Raleigh-Durham International,” said Earnhardt Jr.  “It’s another opportunity to welcome visitors to North Carolina with great food and live music. We have tremendous partners in HMSHost that have a long history of success within the industry. This is our second location together and we will be looking to expand into other venues as we grow the brand.”  

Whisky River first opened in uptown Charlotte and has grown into a favorite for North Carolina fun-seekers to hang-out and enjoy great food, music, and drinks. Whisky River’s signature honky-tonk hangout vibe now greets Raleigh–Durham travelers with the same fun and casual dining experience. 

“We’re honored to further our partnership with Dale Jr. by spotlighting this great restaurant to more travelers here at Raleigh-Durham. Travelers now have the chance to experience Whisky River’s signature menu and fun vibe as part of their travels at RDU,” said HMSHost President & CEO Steve Johnson. “HMSHost, and our partner J.Q. Enterprises, thank the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority for working with us to continue enhancing the airport dining experience. Locally-inspired offerings like Whisky River will be a hit with travelers for many years to come.”

Whisky River’s chef-driven menu is known for its simple, yet craveable dishes. The Whisky River RDU menu highlights include: house made Spicy Beef Chili; a Buffalo Chop salad; Beer Can Chicken; and a Texas Tequila Bacon Cheddar Burger. Early morning travelers can enjoy items such as Peaches & Cream Pancakes and the Carolina Biscuit.

“Whisky River is a great addition to the lineup of exceptional dining experiences at RDU,” said Airport Authority President and CEO Michael Landguth. “I’d like to thank HMSHost, J.Q. Enterprises, Dale Jr. our very own business development team for offering our travelers what they really like - great food, a fun atmosphere and a great start to their journey.”

Guests are never far from the action on the race track with sleek televisions that surround the bar area where travelers can gather to take in a race or a game while relaxing with a drink. The bar serves up southern hospitality with local craft brews and signature cocktails such as the Moonshine Mule and the Carolina Tea that’s served in a souvenir Whisky River mason jar.

In addition to great food and drinks, Whisky River brings Carolina country style to the airport with belt buckles that adorn an entire wall, images of whisky barrels throughout the restaurant, cowhide seating, and even a stationary bull centered in the restaurant’s patio area.

Keeping this new restaurant on-point with the other Whisky River locations, RDU travelers can even enjoy live music from local musicians on the Whisky River music stage during certain times. Travelers can relax in the dining room featuring a vista of the tarmac or enjoy the patio for an open-air concourse dining experience.

Visiting Whisky River during your travels at RDU? Share your fun times and great food pics with us using #WRRDU.

HMSHost Leading the Industry
HMSHost is recognized by the industry as the top provider of travel dining with awards such as 2018 Best Overall Food & Beverage Operator (for the eleventh consecutive year) by Airport Revenue News. USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards recognized HMSHost’s Summer House Santa Monica at Chicago O’Hare International Airport as Best Airport Bar / Restaurant Atmosphere. HMSHost is a leader in sustainability practices which include plans to eliminate conventional plastic straw use by 2020. The company also creates original award-winning events like Airport Restaurant Month, Channel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest, and the Adrian Awards Gold winning campaigns, #HMSHostLove and Eat Well. Travel Further.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and at more than 100 travel plazas in North America. The company has annual sales of nearly $3.3 billion and employs more than 41,000 associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of €4.6 billion in 2017, the group operates in 31 countries and employs over 58,000 people. It manages approximately 4,000 stores in about 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit HMSHost.com for more information and connect with HMSHost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.   

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