Our Story


When our family-owned and operated Ban Joe’s restaurant at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport closed in 2008 as a part of the airport’s major renovations, Iron Chef and Cleveland native Michael Symon went to social media, lamenting the demise of his favorite airport restaurant. As Michael’s career took off with multiple shows on the Food Network and Cooking Channel and as his restaurant empire expanded into new cities, he found himself at the airport frequently commuting between all of his business interests. His commentary attracted the attention of UCG’s second-generation family operator Ben Rababy. Ben was touched that Symon cared about his family’s restaurant and called to say thank you. Ben asked if he had ever considered a restaurant in airports. As with many chefs, Symon said he had talked to people but found it all too much and would rather stay in street locations.

bsymon-homeBen Rababy knew that his hometown hero Michael Symon and his cuisine would be a hit in airports. bs-homeHe kept calling Symon’s development team until they finally agreed to talk. Many talks later, a great relationship developed between UCG and Michael Symon. UCG became an invaluable partner as Bar Symon was developed for airports. Today UCG is the controlling partner for Bar Symon in airports.

Bar Symon airport restaurants are a collaboration between an award-winning, road warrior Iron Chef and an innovative, experienced airport operator. In addition to an amazing meal, travelers will enjoy these thoughtful features:
  • Outlets/Charging Stations at every table and bar stool
  • Unique, artisan-created interiors with a hip comfortable design that makes you want to linger and enjoy your food
  • In-restaurant flight monitors to keep track of your flight
  • Fast, friendly to-go service with chef-driven cuisine packaged to stay fresh for your trip

Bar Symon is like no other airport restaurant in the world. A true respite from the hustle and bustle of a busy airport combined with a culinary experience that makes any trip memorable. Bar Symon is a unique and comfy, open concept with a hip and fun design vibe. The space was designed for an airport with over 200 conveniently located power outlets to encourage lingering while charging their devices and flight status screens inside the unit to allow passengers to keep tabs on their flights during their meal.

Bar Symon PIT is already setting records and will satisfy any discriminating travelers with hearty Midwestern fare influenced by Michael’s Greek heritage.

Iron Chef Michael Symon


Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul.

Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland, Ohio native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his critically acclaimed restaurants in America’s heartland: Lola, Lolita, Roast, B Spot and Bar Symon Kitchen and Taphouse. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on the Food Network and daily on ABC’s The Chew.


Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2010, he was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints;” B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival initiating the way for three consecutive wins over Bobby Flay in 2010, 2011 and 2012, a SoBe first and then again a fourth win in 2013. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.” In 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants.”


TV viewers know Michael Symon for his love of all things carnivore, his fun-loving nature, competitive spirit and infectious laugh. He made his debut on the Food Network in 1998 on Sara’s Secrets with Sara Moulton and Food Nation with Bobby Flay, before being tapped to host over 100 episodes of The Melting Pot. Next Michael appeared on four shows, judged Season 3 of The Next Iron Chef and competed on Iron Chef America. Michael won season one of The Next Iron Chef in 2008, earning him a permanent spot on the roster of esteemed Iron Chefs. Symon’s Suppers, premiered on Cooking Channel in January 2012. Today Michael is best known for ABC’s The Chew as one of the show’s six hosts. Premiering in 2011, it continues to be a ratings jugernaut. His newest show, America’s Best Cook is popular on the Food Network.


In addition to his Food Network career, Symon has opened a series of successful restaurants. Lola opened in 1997 and is now the cornerstone of Cleveland’s dining scene. Lolita, a Mediterranean-style bistro opened in 2005. Roast brought Michael’s meat-centric cooking to Detroit’s Westin Book Cadillac in 2008. BSpot has many locations in Cleveland including inside the Horseshoe Casino, Quicken Loans Arena, Browns Stadium.  Team recently opened locations in Columbus, Ohio and Michigan with aggressive plans to open many more including Pennsylvania and Indiana coming soon.  In 2015, Michael Symon Restaurants will unveil Mabels BBQ on the historical E.4th Street and introducing the world to Cleveland Style BBQ as never before seen.


Michael published his first cookbook, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook – Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen, in 2009. In 2012, another cookbook was released named The Chew: Food. Life. Fun.”, co-authored by Symon along with fellow Iron Chef Mario Batali, Gordon Elliott, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, and Daphne Oz. Soon after, Symon and Douglas Trattner collaborated to release his second offering, Michael Symon’s Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers”. The Chew crew has since released a series of successful cookbooks and in 2013 Michcael Symon’s 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners has topped many best-seller list.


Michael Symon visits Bar Symon at Washington Dulles International Airport for the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting.
Photography by J. David Buerk:



Bar Symon CLE- 216-762-1075
Bar Symon PIT-  412-472-5067
Bar Symon IAD- 703-572-5571
Bar Symon PHL- 215-824-5171







Find us at these airports:

Concourse C
(Owned and operated by United Concessions Group)







Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)

Center Food Core
(a partnership with UCG and
The Paradies Shops)
Washington- Dulles (IAD)
Terminal D
(a partnership with UCG and
Concessions International)

 Marketplace DevelopmentMarketplace Development






Terminal D
(Owned and operated by PCE, a Midfield Concessions Enterprise company)



Live. Love. Cook.

With fresh high-quality food sourced locally to bring “farm to table” cuisine to the airport, Bar Symon seamlessly integrates various time-tested menus choices from the Iron Chef’s multiple restaurants; from fine dining to casual burger, and adjust them for local airports without sacrificing freshness, quality and taste.

Marketplace Development
Bar Symon is committed to operating an environmentally sustainable establishment in airports and proudly serves naturally raised and bs-spaceresponsibly farmed food.

All menu choices are made from scratch from many purveyors that are close to the airport. The menu offers farm to table comfort food with a local twist by incorporating many local favorites found only in the region.

Bar Symon creates a true sense of place in the airports it operates in. In Pittsburgh, PA they used reclaimed bowling alleys that were reborn from a local, shuttered bowling establishment in Pennsylvania. Along with a photo of the namesake Iron Chef and Bar-Symon-insideJames Beard winning Chef Michael Symon, Bar Symon promoted the hey day of Pittsburgh’s food heritage by showcasing large sepia photos of PGH’s Meat Market and Rothman’s Restaurant, both from the turn of the twentieth century. It is his ambition to localize both the beverage and culinary menu as well as the design of all restaurants using local ingredients, materials and vendors.