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Entrepreneurs Work To Turn DC-7 Into An Airport Restaurant

Classic Airliner Being Refurbished In New Smyrna Beach, FL

A pair of entrepreneurs is working to turn a decommissioned DC-7 airliner they acquired at Opa-Locka airport near Miami into an airport restaurant in New Smyrna Beach, FL.

The DC-7 Grille was conceived by brothers Danny and Skip Perna, who had the airplane shipped from south Florida to New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport (KEVB) in June of 2012. The move was televised as part of the A&E reality series "Shipping Wars."

But while the brothers had hoped for a New Year's Day grand opening, they ran into some issues, according to a report appearing in the Daytona Beach News Journal. Opening a restaurant is often a major undertaking that takes longer than expected, and transforming a former airliner into a 50-seat cafe brings its own unique issues. The most recent setback was a failure to resubmit a site plan to the city's Plan Review Committee in the specified 120-day timeframe. City planner Jeff Grove said that the two-year plan could be approved as soon as Monday of this week.

The brothers say they plan for seating for 49 plus a bar inside the airplane, where the cockpit will remain intact. They hope to be able to seat another 25 diners outside the fuselage.

The brothers said they are not ready to set a new opening date for the DC-7 Grille, but that once they get final approval from the city, they have four to five months of additional work before it is ready to open.

Danny Perna is no stranger to aviation. He owns Epic Flight Academy which operates from KEVB.

(Image from YouTube video shot during DC-7 shipping)

FMI: www.dc7grille.com

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