By Heather Janssen

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Innovative or insensitive? That’s the debate over plans for a new restaurant across from the Sacramento Executive Airport.

Those plans include the nose of a jumbo jet sticking out of the restaurant. The site sits in the same area where a plane crashed into an ice cream parlor 40 years ago, killing nearly two dozen people.

Richard Ryder, 90, can tell you a thing or two about Sacramento.

He watched the Tower Theatre get constructed, saw his Land Park neighborhood blossom, and witnessed one of Sacramento’s darkest days in 1972. That was the day when nearly two dozen people, including 12 children, died in a fiery crash after a plane dove into the Farrell’s Ice Cream parlor.

“No sooner did I turn into the airport then I heard an explosion,” said Ryder. “I looked back and I could see a black puff.”

This moment is ingrained in Sacramento’s history and one that people are talking about again, almost 50 years later.

Plans to construct a new restaurant only blocks from the crash site were recently filed with the City of Sacramento. But it’s the design of the building that may not fly with some locals.

“To have a restaurant with an airplane sticking out of it,” said Bill Cox, a Sacramento resident. “I don’t think is a good idea at all.”

The new fish-market-style restaurant features a 747 plane’s nose sticking out the front.

Swipe through renderings of the proposed restaurant below:

Cox’s friend, Greg Popejoy, also watched the crash happen from the Sacramento Executive Airport. That’s why he understands the sensitivity.

“Part of an airplane sticking out of a restaurant. There’s no getting around that,” Popejoy said. “There’s going to be a lot of flack.”

A narrative of the developers’ plans details how the currently empty lot will be transformed into both the restaurant and Sacramento Valley Ambulance headquarters. The design aims to connect itself to the nearby executive airport.

“It’s nice looking, but it would look better outside of a metropolitan airport,” said Popejoy.

The restaurant and ambulance dispatch center will be built by Sacramento Valley Ambulance. CBS13 reached out to talk to them about their plans, but they were not available for comment yet.

Other locals, like Ryder, are eager to watch the plans develop just as many other parts of his neighborhood have over time. But the question still stands – will this idea fly with other Sacramentans?

Heather Janssen

  1. D. Grosz says:

    I also remember that very sad day. Children having a birthday party at the Ice Cream Restaurant. Sad memories. We do not need a reminder of that accident. D. Grosz

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