Pocket Life

By Corky Mau
May 2024

Flying High

Love keeps airport restaurant aloft

The power of community support gave Aviators restaurant and catering a new lease on life.

Last November, the county’s Department of Airports was considering another dining option to replace Aviators at Executive Airport. The county circulated a survey for public feedback.

Cheung-Sang Chik has owned Aviators for 25 years. He was told his lease would end Jan. 31. The county offered a month-to-month deal while seeking bids for other dining options.

Chik said no thanks. “I can’t operate my restaurant month-to-month,” he says. “People call ahead to book holiday and private parties. That wouldn’t be fair to my customers.”

More than a dozen organizations, including Pocket/Greenhaven Rotary Club, Sacramento Senator Lions Club and a group of retired pilots, meet regularly at Aviators. Kids love dining there while watching airplanes.

The décor is nostalgic. Comfort food, beer and wine are delicious and affordable. Model planes hang from the ceiling, adding to the ambiance.

When Aviators’ plight was broadcast on local TV, community members rallied and formed the Save Aviators Committee. The mission: Keep the restaurant right where it belongs. Committee spokesperson Bill Wong says many people volunteered.

Pilots Greg Popejoy and Gill Wright enlisted support from other aviators. Liv Moe, a longtime customer, launched a Change.org petition that yielded close to 4,400 signatures.

Pocket resident Lorna Fong coordinated the campaign. “My family and friends have frequented Aviators for years,” she says. “Chik is sole owner and head cook. His small business needed our help to work with county officials.”

More than 1,300 postcards landed at the office of county Supervisor Patrick Kennedy. Over 3,500 surveys were submitted, with 85% seeking no changes to Aviators. In March, the county suspended plans to seek another vendor. “It was evident the community had no appetite to change the current situation,” Kennedy says.


Cinco de Mayo honors Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Elks Lodge No. 6 celebrates the occasion Saturday, May 4, with a dinner dance from 5–11 p.m. Entertainment includes Mayan Latin Roots, Mariachi Los Gallos and Yemaya Dance Group. Tickets are $40. Call (916) 422-6666 for information.


Since 1914, the Holy Festa parade has traveled Pocket streets around Portuguese Hall and St. Maria Church. This year, it takes place Sunday, May 19, around 11:45 a.m.


There are many ways to help Meals on Wheels on May 2, the Big Day of Giving.

Have breakfast at Café Latte—donate $100 and get a free meal. Or donate $25 and get a free muffin or coffee.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., drive through the Meals on Wheels parking lot and drop off paper for shredding. It’s $10 per box. The office is at 7375 Park City Drive.

Brick House Restaurant in Elk Grove is also helping out. For a donation of $25 or more, enjoy an appetizer buffet from 3–6 p.m.


Friday classic car shows return to Device Brewery at Promenade Center. Cars are on display May 3 and 17 from 4–8 p.m. Listen to oldies music while browsing vintage hot rods, classic trucks, muscle cars and lowriders. For information, contact Ben Valencia at (916) 698-7507.


In partnership with SactoMoFo, City Council Member Rick Jennings brings “Food Truck Mania” back to Garcia Bend Park. The events are every third Friday from 5–8 p.m. Stop by Friday, May 17, for food and family fun.

Corky Mau can be reached at corky.sue50@gmail.com. Submissions are due six weeks prior to the publication month. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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