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News > Commentary - Straight Talk: Hanscom offers lots of food choices
Straight Talk: Hanscom offers lots of food choices

Posted 3/31/2011   Updated 3/31/2011 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Col. Stacy L. Yike
66th Air Base Group commander

3/31/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Hanscom has lots of places to grab a bite, from the bowling alley to the AAFES food court. There will be a new facility opening up May 1 called Duke's Bar and Grill. The menu sounds great, with burgers and chicken wings, plus some awesome salads.

Read on for more information about the departure of A&P Pizza.

Question: Recently, I was at A&P Pizza, which is next to the Class Six store, and the owner was noticeably upset. At lunch time on March 18, the Exchange services manager came in and posted a large sign which stated, "This facility is closed as of March 16. Sorry for the inconvenience."

The owner said the place was packed and tried to talk with the woman but did not want to cause a scene to determine what caused her to post the sign. She stated that they had been sent a letter stating that the facility was closed and he had until next Tuesday to vacate.

The actions of the Exchange services manager seem a little strange and there should be something under contract law that would allow a good concessionaire more time to vacate. I wonder if someone in your office could investigate this situation.

Response: Thank you for taking the time to express your concern. I understand how disconcerting it could be, given the circumstances. I spoke with the AAFES general manager here at Hanscom to learn more about this. In general, AAFES concessionaires are allowed to operate at the request of AAFES under various contracts, including multi-year contracts. At some point, all contracts are due for re-solicitation which is what happened in this case. The A&P Pizza five-year contract ended Feb. 28, 2011, however, an extension was granted, which ended on March 15. The result of the recent re-solicitation process of the contract was that another concessionaire won the solicitation. We are constantly seeking to provide the best quality services to Team Hanscom and we believe this new concessionaire will bring the best value to all our customers.

To all those who patronized A&P. Pizza, thank you for your support. I hope you will also strongly support Duke's Bar and Grill when they open May 1. We look forward to your feedback.

5/16/2011 7:53:22 AM ET
A and P has probably been feeding me an average of once a week for about 24 years. The ritual of dinner there after softball, volleyball, gym, etc., made those nights more enjoyable. In spite of that, I went to Duke's and tried to keep an open mind, but came out very disappointed. I ordered a special that was recommended by the man at the counter. The steak tips were tough and fatty, rice was cold and the steamed vegetables were mostly heatedon the grill and some were cold. That meal was at the same price I would payfor a meal split by two people at A and P. Odds are slim I will go back to Duke's.
Susan, Lincoln
5/13/2011 9:32:08 AM ET
I loved A and P and am sad to see it go. I haven't tried Duke's yet but likely will to give it a fair shake. I agree that the O-club is underutilized and it would be a good change to turn it into a pavilion-type venue with a variety of offerings - though this may encroach on what the BX offers I suppose.
jared, Lincoln Lab
5/13/2011 8:17:47 AM ET
For people who want to eat on base after 7 at night, the options seem extremely limited. Right now, all I know of is the bowling alley, Dukes and the officer's club. I hear the officer's club may not be an option much longer either. I have tried Dukes and am not in any rush to go back. A and P fed us well and at a reasonable cost for 26 years and I am really going to miss the place.
Sandy, Hanscom
4/1/2011 3:05:15 PM ET
What I don't understand is why the public was the last to know about this. It's not like this closing suddenly and unexpectedly sprung up. It was a simple end to a five-year contract. There was plenty of time to keep the public informed solicit ideas and prepare for the next vendor. AAFES needs to do a better job of managing public expectations. The alternatives are plenty of quality food establishments off base.
David, Boston
3/31/2011 4:44:19 PM ET
This is amazing. A good resturant with management that cares which had a lot of customers is closed down but the club that very few people go to stays open while management seems disinterested. Why not remodel the club to allow a few places like he pizza place to take it over. At least then it would be used.
Mark, Hanscom
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