Eat and dine in an aeroplane in Kitengela

plane restaurant

The Kitengela Air 034 plane restaurant.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

In the last few months, the many high-end clubs opening in the dusty Kitengela town have attracted Nairobi residents every weekend. 

Last weekend the new entrant, Kitengela Quivers Grill, thrilled patrons.  Now, Club Air 034, has launched an exclusive modern restaurant set up in a fuselage decommissioned plane, which has taken almost two years to modify.

Kitengela joins other towns where revellers can eat and dine on an aeroplane.
When Nation visited the club on Friday, the owner, Mr Emmanuel Ngetich, 45, was upbeat about realising his dream to set up a restaurant designed to capture the customers' aviation imaginations.

He said the idea crossed his mind when he visited Bangkok for a business trip in 2019.  He had dinner in a five-star rated "aeroplane" restaurant.

He was fascinated and he thought of improvising the same in Kenya.
"I was running a middle-class restaurant. When I came back, I went shopping for decommissioned planes. Luckily, by that time Kenya Airways was disposing of its decommissioned flights. I bid and won but it took me three months to transport the fuselage to Kitengela," he explained.

plane restaurant

The interior of Kitengela Air 034 plane restaurant.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

The fuselage arrived at Kitengela on March 26, 2019, and the following day, the government imposed a Covid 19 dusk-to-dawn restrictions...the project came to a screeching halt. It has taken Mr Ngetich two years to modify the restaurant.

"I kept my desire to complete the project to realise my dreams,” he said.
From the busy Namanga Road, the Boeing aeroplane renamed "Air 034"
stands. The three-acre piece of land hosts two fuselages now forming the modern restaurant.

Cool music emanates from the interior of the 45-seater restaurant with seats set up in unique designs. Several television sets have been mounted strategically at different corners.

A washroom has been set up at the tail end of the restaurant which is fitted with CCTV cameras and a mini counter. 

"We are targeting ‘mature’ clients. We will be only playing instrumental music. We don’t allow dancing on the plane. Beer will be sold at slightly higher prices, while the prices of whisky and wine will be determined by the brand,” said the club’s manager Mike Rotich.

However, revellers who wish to spend some quality time in the "plane restaurant,” have to book online with Sh3,000 minimum from Monday-Thursday and Sh5,000 on weekends.

The booking fee is redeemable and in case a customer does not exhaust his account, the balance is carried forward.

The cockpit is designed to host two ‘holiday makers’ at an extra fee. Here, occupants enjoy the serenity experienced in the cockpit of a Boeing plane.
A customer is issued a "boarding pass" before accessing the restaurant. Other customers pay on arrival before being issued with boarding passes depending on the availability of seats.

The plane's wings provide space for more customers either waiting for space in the plane or who wish to enjoy the breeze outside the plane. Drums have been modified to serve as the tables giving the area a local taste.

Air 034 restaurant

Kitengela Air 034 restaurant cockpit DJ booth.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

Next to the restaurant lies the cockpit of the second fuselage that hosts the disc jockey (DJ) entertaining customers.  The other two parts of the second fuselage serve as conference halls. Here, all forms of parties and dancing take place.

"The modification has brought class and new taste in town. We want to give our clients a new experience and show Kenyans how decommissioned aircraft can be transformed into restaurants," said Mr Rotich.

The hospitality industry is fast growing in Kitengela town. Many high-end restaurants and nightclubs are coming up each day, transforming the town into a 24-hour  economy.

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