FLYING Magazine

AKRON, Colorado—One of my favorite excuses to go flying is the pursuit of great food.

On a sunny Saturday in late summer 2023, I found myself itching to try something new. I’d been hearing whispers about a charming little pizzeria called Miss Bea Havin, tucked away at the Colorado Plains Regional Airport (KAKO) inside the Hayes Aviation FBO. A quick online search turned up rave reviews and tantalizing images that sealed the deal. My girlfriend, Alex, usually hesitant about airport dining after one too many trips to the Greeley-Weld County Airport (KGXY) cafe, was surprisingly on board for this adventure.

Aspen Flying Club Cessna 172S at KCFO. [Courtesy: Kevin Cortes]

We grabbed an Aspen Flying Club Cessna 172S from Colorado Air and Space Port (KCFO), where filing the flight plan and preflight checks went off without a hitch under clear skies. Taking off from KCFO is always a bit of a thrill—there’s something fun about saying “space port tower” on the comms. We hit our cruising altitude of 7,500 feet and, as expected in the Rocky Mountain region, ran into a bit of turbulence.

I had scoped out the airport layout beforehand using ForeFlight’s Airport 3D View and cross-checked it with Google Maps, so I felt pretty confident about our approach. Descending toward Akron, the scene below buzzed with excitement, possibly a county fair setting up, complete with rides and stalls. We made a smooth entry into the pattern, despite Alex starting to feel a bit queasy—a first for her in general aviation, thanks to the bumpy ride.

Alexis Cunningham (left) and Kevin Cortes en route to Colorado Plains Regional Airport. [Courtesy: Kevin Cortes]

Landing with a slight left crosswind, we taxied over to transient parking right in front of Miss Bea Havin. We noted the distinctive logos of Hayes Aviation and Miss Bea Havin for a photo op on our way out. Stepping inside, the FBO felt welcoming. There was a cozy dining area with high tops and traditional tables. Chef Gordon Johnson was right there, chatting with some customers before taking our pizza order—pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

As our pizza began its journey in the oven, Johnson shared the story behind Miss Bea Havin. The restaurant emerged from a blend of local aviation passion and culinary ambition. Johnson, having returned home in 2021, wanted to create a community hub that combined his deep roots and extensive restaurant experience. After many strategy sessions and navigating through red tape, Miss Bea Havin was launched, named in tribute to L.G. Hayes, a World War II B-17 pilot and father of the airport manager, Randy Hayes, whose stories of flying an aircraft called Miss Bea Havin added a rich layer of history to the place.

Miss Bea Havin Pizza [Courtesy: Kevin Cortes]

When the pizza arrived, it was nothing short of amazing. We let it cool just a tad before diving in. I have to admit, it exceeded my expectations—far outpacing any pizzeria I’ve tried back in Denver. The ingredients were fresh, the flavors bold, and the crust just perfect. We couldn’t finish it all, so we boxed up the leftovers, thanked Johnson for the hospitality, and made our way out.

Alexis Cunningham in front of Hayes Aviation FBO. [Courtesy: Kevin Cortes]

As we departed, I noticed a sleek Embraer Phenom 100 had joined our Cessna on the ramp. Its pilot, also drawn by the allure of Miss Bea Havin’s pizza, shared our sentiment: It’s definitely a pizza worth flying for. 

The post Pie in the Sky: In Pursuit of the ‘$300 Pizza’ appeared first on FLYING Magazine.

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