Hidden Gem: 94th Aero Squadron

Last Friday my friend took me out to a fantastic little place for Happy Hour nestled next to the Van Nuys Airport called The 94th Aero Squadron. As we’re driving through an industrial park to get there I’m a little leery but when we pull into the parking lot there’s a bi-plane parked in the front yard of a beautiful ivy covered building. Completely out of place from were we’ve just been driving and totally takes me off-guard. We walk into the place and it’s covered in old war paraphernalia like a TGIF out of the middle of a World War. When you walk up to the bar there are giant windows overlooking the runway. And by that I mean you’re about 100 feet from the planes taking off and landing. Sadly it was a super windy day ad the planes were taking off from the opposite end of the field. My friend said she got totally star-struck when Larry Flynt’s plane taxi’d by their table the week before ;-) I saw a few Coast Guard Blackhawk’s taking of and what looked to be a Russian Mig rolling around.

Like I said it was Happy Hour so we dug into the free noshables and ordered the GIANT appetizer sampler platter while we downed our cabernets and margaritas. There were just 3 of us total and it completely filled us all up to stuffing. OMG, the coconut shrimp were AMAZING! After a few glasses of wine my friend went over and chatted up an old guy at the “Pilot’s Only” table, which turns out actually is for pilots only. The staff was great and the vibe was chill. Before we left our waitress told me to go check out the banquet room which was made up like a blown out house overlooking the back patio where a band was just getting settled in for a long night of cover tunes. I’ll be going back there quite a bit I for-see. Definitely a hidden gem in the valley.

The restaurant is located at 16320 Raymer Ave in Van Nuys and you can find more about them at the The 94th Aero Squadron website. Hope to see you at Happy Hour!

9 thoughts on “Hidden Gem: 94th Aero Squadron”

  1. I love that place, years ago when I worked in the Valley we used to hit that place for business meetings, happy hours or lunch. It is a treasure that I forgot about.

  2. WHOA. We used to have one of these at the Northeast Philadelphia airport, less than a mile from where I used to live in Philly. I used to think it was a one-of-a-kind place, but now I see there are a few locations (the one in Philly has since closed). I heartily endorse this place. It was the first place I ever drank champagne!

  3. Stick with the cocktails and the appetizers. You will regret ordering actual food there for the price and taste…unless its an out of town relative who doesnt know the difference between good food and bad food and you just want to take them to a place with a cool location and decor.

    1. Thanks for the tip but I have to try it at least once. They have a Prime Rib french dip on the menu that I just can’t pass up. If it sucks it’s no one’s fault but my own… :-)

  4. I used to go to the one in Miami all the time. It’s cool. There is also the Proud Bird near LAX that has the planes in the parking lot. At that one, you could put on headphones and listen to the tower. Fun note – I believe they shot an episode from season 1 of The Hardy Boys at this location.

  5. Glad to see the 94th is still seeing action. I went there for a birthday waaaaaay back and had a blast, afterward enjoying an hour-long desert-to-the-sea helicopter tour. The Proud Bird’s been on my list since I briefly worked at nearby DirecTV in 2007, but since then other than LAX, I’ve had no reason to be in that area.

  6. I used to go to the one in San Jose as a kid. Like everybody else, I thought ours was unique. That one’s long gone, so it’s nice to know the Van Nuys one is alive and kicking. BTW, there are seven 94th Aero Squadrons in the US (including San Diego), but it looks like different outfits own them.

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