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2 new lounges open at Phoenix airport with menus from popular chef

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2 new lounges open at Phoenix airport with menus from popular chef

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The popular local chef behind Phoenix restaurants Gallo Blanco and Otro Cafe is expanding his reach to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Certain American Express credit card holders now have access to two new lounges at Sky Harbor, the Centurion Lounge and the Escape Lounge.

Gallo Blanco and Otro Cafe chef Doug Robson will curate menus for both, bringing his signature modern Mexican food to the airport in an upscale environment. The lounges will share menu items inspired by the chef’s upbringing in Mexico City and the recipes he uses at the two Phoenix restaurants. 

The Centurion Lounge and Escape Lounge open at Sky Harbor on Monday, Jan. 6. 

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What is the Centurion Lounge? 

The Centurion Lounge is one of the most exclusive airport lounges around, open only to American Express Platinum Card, Centurion and Delta Reserve card members. Currently, there are only nine Centurion Lounge locations at airports around the world.

The expansion to Phoenix is part of a push to open six new locations. 

At Sky Harbor, the upscale lounge includes a full bar, large windows, work spaces with outlets and Wi-Fi, among other amenities. 

The lounges share an entrance but are separate. The Escape Lounge has slightly more relaxed rules with complimentary access allowed to Platinum Card and Centurion members and paid entrance for non-members. For a day pass of $45 or $40 if purchased ahead online, non-members can use the amenities inside the Escape Lounge. 

Along with food offerings, the general-use Escape Lounge will also feature a full bar with coffee and espresso. Other amenities include a silent digital library with Bose noise-cancelling headphones and more than 7,000 audiobooks and publications.

Both lounges are located in Terminal 4 and span a combined space of more than 9,500 square feet. Construction is now complete on the two lounges close to a year after Phoenix City Council initially approved a bid from MAG USA. The company is a U.S. subsidiary of Manchester Airport Group, a U.K.-based company that specifies in operating airport lounges.

What to expect on Robson’s menu

Chef Doug Robson is no stranger to feeding hungry travelers. In 2009 he opened Gallo Blanco inside the Clarendon Hotel and operated there for five years. After a dispute with the hotel’s owners, and much to the disappointment of eager fans, Gallo Blanco closed for a period before reopening across the street from Welcome Diner in 2017. During this time, he also opened Otro Cafe on Seventh Street in uptown Phoenix.

Doug Robson opened a new Gallo Blanco in the Garfield District in downtown Phoenix in 2017. (Photo: The Republic)

The dishes served at Robson’s restaurants are inspired by the food he ate as a child growing up in Mexico City. He was born in Mexico and raised by his parents who have French Vietnamese and English heritage. 

At the airport lounges, options on the menu will include eggs and chorizo, tortilla soup, pollo asado with tamarind glaze, roasted cauliflower with harissa and a masala galam yogurt sauce among others, according to a press release.

“I’m honored to bring my dishes to The Centurion Lounge and Escape Lounge in the Phoenix Airport for travelers and locals alike,” said Robson in the release. “These menus are inspired by my upbringing in Mexico City and the multicultural flavors and energy of the cuisine.”

Reach the reporter at tirion.morris@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter at @tirionmorris, on Facebook at Tirion Rose and on Instagram at tirionrose. 

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