Cora's Lounge courts diners with aviation history and airport nostalgia

Order another round. You won't miss your flight.

Order another round. You won't miss your flight. Courtesy Holman's Table

According to research from the Martin County Historical Society and the Fairmont Pioneer Museum, after flying a Stinson-Detroiter monoplane solo over Hall Lake, Cora M. Fuller became the first woman in Minnesota to earn her pilot’s license on April 30, 1931. She nailed the test after only eight hours of instruction.

Fuller’s log book shows that she took her freedom and “ran” with it, buzzing above the average man for 8,162 miles in just her first year as a pilot. 

Now she’s got a sweet airport lounge named after her, too. 

Beginning this evening, fans of aviation history and drinking in airports can find a part of Fuller’s spirit at Cora’s Lounge, a new venture from Holman’s Table (who also call their banquet area the Earhart Room). 

The restauraunt, which debuted inside St. Paul’s Downtown Airport in January 2018, has been afforded time and space to get creative since the pandemic descended last March and crushed the travel and dining industries in one fell swoop. The solution from Holman's Table? Transforming a portion of the airport terminal into a distinct, retro hang that includes ample space for guests to safely spread out. 

For Troy Reding, leader of Holman’s Table and now Cora’s Lounge, expanding into the terminal itself might keep the restaurant viable in the face of a 50 percent capacity limit and losing its patio as colder weather sets in. 

“The dining room at Holman's Table had 22 tables prior to COVID,” he said. "By converting this space, we're able to gain more tables, while also providing another unique experience to our guests." 

The Lounge accepts reservations, and guests have an option to participate in one of the Twin Cities' most unique dining enviroments in an entirely separate manner from that of the dining room. Here the menu emphasizes classic and craft cocktails, paired with modern bar snacks like Panko Crusted Scallop adorned with spaghetti squash, romesco, and lemon zest, or some top-tier crab cakes, or a 300 Dollar Burger ($18) from Revier Farms made with a Madeira truffle demi, topped with Gruyere and foie butter. Plus there’s a happy hour offered Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m.

And though it’s not the Lounge’s signature cocktail (that’s the Penicillin), Cora's Lounge will pour an Aviation if you ask nicely. It just comes with the territory.

Courtesy Martin County Historical Society

Courtesy Martin County Historical Society

Cora’s Lounge at Holman’s Table 
644 Bayfield St., St. Paul
Tuesday-Thursday, 3-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 3-10 p.m.