Bethany Clough

Get a look inside River Park’s newest restaurant. It’s inspired by a theme park ride

Soar into River Park’s new Hangar restaurant

The Hangar, is a new restaurant opening at River Park shopping center in Fresno with burgers, fries, onion ring towers and the promise of an "experience" on tap.
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The Hangar, is a new restaurant opening at River Park shopping center in Fresno with burgers, fries, onion ring towers and the promise of an "experience" on tap.

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Propellers are everywhere. There’s a replica of a P-51 Mustang warplane sticking out of the wall and employees wear shirts that say “I”m just plane crazy.”

The Hangar, River Park’s newest restaurant, is heavy on the plane theme. It opened Friday, July 26.

The Hangar is taking over part of the empty space near the theaters that the World Sports Cafe left behind when it closed five years ago. J Pot Mini Hot Pot & Bar opened in the other half of the building in April.

The Hangar owner loved the Soarin’ Over California ride at theme park Disney California Adventure, said Bitsy Coe, the restaurant’s director of operations.

A giant video screen on the wall plays a film of a plane soaring over the Central Valley’s iconic sights and miles of ag land.

“You get to feel like you’re flying over the Central Valley and into Fresno,” she said.

Though there’s no official connection to Disney, parts of the restaurant were inspired by it, said Keihon Sarkhosh, director of marketing.

“We really wanted to go with an experience. It’s almost like you’re going to a theme park.”

Customers can have their picture taken in front of a mural on the restaurant wall of a parachute painted by local artist Josh Wigger, looking as though they just parachuted in.

The plane theme is strong throughout the restaurant. Ceiling fans look like propellers. And an “arrivals” sign hangs over the counter where the finished food is placed, for example.

The food

The menu by chef Thatcher Mills features burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, salads and ice cream. Most dishes range from $7.50 to $12.50.

Already getting good reviews in early tastings: The tri-tip sandwich and the western burger, served with chopped bacon, cheddar cheese, onions strings and avocado. Both are served with The Hangar barbecue sauce, which was created in house and also proving to be popular.

You can build your own hot dog by choosing your toppings or order an onion ring tower.

Customers can also substitute in a vegan black bean burger for any of the burgers on the menu and gluten-free lettuces wraps are available upon request.

Ice cream is available by the scoop or in a cone, along with milkshakes and banana splits.

The first class sundae serves four to six people and has four scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, glazed doughnut holes and chocolate sauce. Customers then pick three toppings from options like Reese’s Pieces, Oreos or gummy bears.

Several beers are on tap, including some local ones.

Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.