Aside from anything else, my (very frequent) experiences with the BelAir restaurant can only be described as very, very positive. Good food, nice atmosphere, and a decent price.
I can confirm this. The last few months I passed 3 times by the BelAir restaurant. The staff was very friendly,food was OK . You can have a very good meal at an affordable price in a nice atmosphere,with a view on the tarmac.
With regard to ANR as an airport for scheduled airlines,I am also convinced there is potential which should be exploited to the full .ANR even complements BRU if you look at it from a 'Belgian' perspective.
e.g. the catchment area of ANR stretches out further north than BRU ,well into the Netherlands.
A few weeks ago I was surprised to find that many cars with a Dutch license plate on the parking.
And indeed, for businesses located in Breda,Tilburg,etc..ANR can be a valid alternative as it is closer than AMS and BRU.
For some destinations ,it is currently even the BEST alternative in terms of total traveltime and price.(e.g.LCY,ZRH,and soon: Split,Firenze,Birmingham,Munich,Maribor,London Southend,...)
Having said this,I think the airport and other stakeholders can/should do still a bit more to promote their operation. In Belgium we see regularly ads promoting either EIN or MST (via Corendon). I'm wondering what ANR,VLM,TUI are doing in the Netherlands to promote the airport /flights with our neighbours?
2 weeks ago I paricipated in a seminar near AMS.Many of the Dutch participants were living near Breda and Tilburg,Roosendaal,..I found out that ,unfortunately, most of them were very ignorant as with regard to the destinations and possibilities Antwerp-airport has been offering lately....
So, to summarize,IMHO Antwerp-Deurne for sure has a future as an airport offering both Leisure AND business destinations but it will require quite some extra efforts by all stakeholders involved to exploit the full potential of their USP.