Waco Kitchen is coming to Lakeland Linder International Airport this June


The bar at Waco Kitchen, Michigan | Photo via @pilotquarters

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Update: 08/22/2022 —Waco Kitchen opened its doors on Mon., Aug. 8. You can find the eatery at the space previously held by Hallback’s Bar & Grill. The business plans to offer a full bar and locally-sourced ingredients. 🍔

Take out and take off from Lakeland Linder’s potential new restaurant: Waco Kitchen.

Since its last renovation in 2001, the restaurant space has remained relatively untouched until now. If you remember back to 2019, the previous tenant, Hallback’s Bar & Grill, closed, and the space has been empty ever since, with a few rumors and rumblings of potential restaurants over the past two years.

Now, the space could be the home of a restaurant concept based out of Battle Creek, Michigan at the Battle Creek Executive Airport. All that’s standing between the restaurant and reality is a vote today from the city commission. The Lakeland Real Estate and Transportation Committee approved the lease on Friday for the restaurant to inhabit the second-floor space.


Views from the restaurant would overlook the airstrip, Waco Kitchen, MI | Photo via @wacokitchen

Now, with the area surrounding Lakeland Linder expanding, the restaurant would bring a new option to surrounding neighborhoods and residents on that side of Lakeland. Plus, the potential for commercial flights is still not 100% off the table for Lakeland’s future.

Here are a few highlights of the restaurant, should it come to fruition:

  • The restaurant concept is considered farm to table,” meaning that the ingredients served are locally sourced.
  • Cuisine-wise, the menu is an American-European fusion by chefs with international training.
  • Due to the difference in climate and location, Lakeland’s potential menu will feature some different items than Battle Creek, with an emphasis on fish.
  • The restaurant will have its own bar serving up beer and wine, and liquor.
  • Should everything pan out today, construction would quite literally begin tomorrow with a $3 million renovation by the buyer.
  • Currently, an opening date is slated sometime in June, should all of the details fall into place.


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