Flying magazine for pilots flying airplanes and helicopters in the Southwest
SW Aviator Magazine Aviation Magazine - Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah
General aviation flight magazine
current past airport classified events links contact
SW Aviator Feb/Mar 2001
SW Aviator Magazine is available in print free at FBOs and aviation-related businesses throughout the Southwest or by subscription.
- - - - - -
Airshows, Fly-ins, Seminars
2001 Aviation Events Calendar
The web's most comprehensive database of Southwest area aviation events.
- - - - - -
Site of the Minute
Featured Site:
A continuosly changing collection of links to our favorite aviation related web sites.
- - - - - -
Used Aircraft For Sale
- - - - - -

Sullivan’s Rococo Steakhouse
St. George, Utah
Mooney M-20E at St. George

By Karl W. Gross

You've been to Sedona and maybe Catalina, but have you been signed off to land on the deck at St. George? With an airport geography that rivals any in the world for making a good approach challenging, St. George, Utah (SGU) offers not only great scenery, but also outstanding food, and even a nice motel if you need it. Planning to decommission this ‘carrier’ is underway, so get a trip in your logbook soon.

Sullivan’s Rococo Steakhouse and Inn have been located at the northeast end of the airfield for over 27 years, with the same family ownership as the day it was opened. The restaurant was opened by Wes and Betty Sullivan, and their two sons now operate it with the help of many of their children. The steakhouse has become a local landmark, with food that keeps the restaurant full seven days a week for dinner. The location on the side of the airport mesa overlooking the city provides outstanding views during your meal.

While most airport restaurants lean heavily toward breakfast and lunch menus, Sullivan’s has evolved to a more upscale menu ranging from excellent soups, sandwiches, and salads for lunch, to dinners that will challenge your weight and balance for the return flight home.

Lunch is served from Monday through Saturday from 11 to 3, and dinners from 5 to 10 seven days a week. I once wandered in shortly before 3, not realizing they were preparing to close, but the service remained excellent with no pressure to hurry and eat (don’t take this as encouraging the practice, but it is a true test of customer service in a restaurant.)

For lunch, the traditional sandwiches are excellent. The bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with a bowl of soup is almost too much food, and only $7.95. Salads are fresh and served in a large bowl, family style. The dressings are excellent including a strawberry vinaigrette that must be tried.

Dinners are large and hearty. The prime rib is comes in two sizes, and a variety of other steak cuts are available. The popular salmon dinner is priced at $20.50. Lobster, crab, halibut, and scallops are also on the menu. Steaks and seafood combinations are available if you can’t decide. Dinners include their excellent salad or soup, and a side of bread that appeared to be homemade.

On a recent stop, I enjoyed an owner-recommended filet mignon at $29.50. Ordered medium rare, it was delivered just right in color, temperature, and texture. After all these years, this family knows how to cook. My only complaint was that my seat belt had shrunk the next day when I climbed back in the Mooney.

For those of you who partake of adult beverages, a good selection of wine and beer are available, including a fine Hefeweizen. The convenience of the Inn next door lets you enjoy a glass of wine with your fine dinner without worrying about staying legal in the air. At less than $45 for a single room, the Inn’s rooms are a bargain, plus the view of the city and mountains beyond matches the restaurant’s panorama. Check-in for the Inn is at the restaurant during restaurant hours.

Any review has to include some personal observations; the restaurant aura is outstanding even before you enter. With plenty of aircraft parking across the street (less than 25 yards), good tie-downs, and a private gate onto the ramp, every pilot will feel welcome. The restaurant is a good cut above the typical airport fare – cloth table coverings and a semi-formal atmosphere. Regardless, I have never been given a second look in airport jeans and with headphone-hair. The service is great with friendly staff who go out of their way whether this is your first visit or your 100th.

The locals love this place, with tables ranging from grandmothers discussing grandkids at lunchtime, to local groups meeting in the available conference rooms, to family holiday dinners scattered between less formal groups of itinerant travelers.

Mooney M-20E at St. George

St. George is located in the far southwest corner of Utah, the heart of Dixie (the Dixie National Forest, that is) – watch for the ‘D’ on the hill to the north of the field. The regional scenery rivals anything in Arizona or California for drama – be sure and watch for the odd mix of recent volcanic activity with red and cream colored cliffs just north and west of the city.

The town was founded by Mormon settlers in the mid-1800s as a farming community, but has been transformed into a regional shopping and commerce center. It is a gateway to the Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. The state of Utah is working with the FAA to relocate the airport to a location that will permit expansion and development, with current plans to spend over $150M on the new facility.

The area around St. George requires some sightseeing if you have come this far. To the north and east are the National Parks with their lush forests and deep colorful canyons. Directly north and to the west are near-moonscapes, with lava flows, sandstone cliffs, and textbook perfect cinder cones of small volcanoes. South and east is the Grand Canyon and Lake Mead.

SGU has a single 6600 by 100 foot runway (16/34) at 2941 feet elevation, with generous taxiways and three places to buy 100LL fuel and jet fuel. Density altitude can be an issue during the warm summer months, but there is plenty of runway (not to mention the sudden altitude increase at the end of the runway) for any general aviation aircraft. Airport communications are on 122.8 and AWOS is on 135.075 or at 435-634-0940. Commercial service and extensive fixed and rotor wing training is conducted, so be sure and announce your approach and departure. VFR flight following is encouraged due to the remote country you are likely to cross to and from SGU. Los Angeles center provides good coverage to the field on 133.3.

Try to make SGU a meal stop on your next trip through the area. You won’t be sorry you have food from this one in stomach, or the visit to this field in your logbook when it is gone.

The material in this publication is for advisory information only and should not be relied upon for navigation, maintenance or flight techniques. SW Regional Publications and the staff neither assume any responsibility for the accuracy of this publication's content nor any liability arising fom it
SW Aviator Magazine • 3909 Central NE • Albuquerque, NM 87108
Phone: 505.256.7031 • Fax: 505.256.3172 • e-mail:
©2001 Southwest Regional Publishing, Inc.