The Save Anchorage “RIP Flyer” waved frantically in front of the Anchorage assembly and distributed across social media appears to be inaccurate.
It seems the Municipality of Anchorage may not specifically be to blame for some of the announced closures, as the Facebook group has suggested, as some are national companies adapting nationwide to a changing and challenging economic climate caused by a global pandemic.
Other businesses listed on the flyer are reportedly closed for reasons not related to COVID-19.
Additionally, some businesses were or are temporarily closed and some have reopened in full or in a modified capacity. One business owner tells me they are “pissed” that their open business is on a flyer being circulated to the public which is wrongfully advertising their business as closed.
Clearly, some businesses on the list have not been closed permanently. Some shuttered businesses did leave posts on social media for their former patrons explaining the reasoning for their closing, while others did not. Some businesses cited COVID-19 as the reason for closing, but did not specifically mention the mandates.
Some who have said they were temporarily closed may have decided later to close permanently. I made an effort to reach out to local businesses. Some telephone numbers did not work. In more than a few cases I was able to reach a business owner.
The list is not exhaustive and should not be taken as such, but does appear to indicate that the original Save Anchorage flyer is inaccurate.
Every closure is tragic.
This list is a work in progress and will be updated and clarified as new information comes in.
Birchwood Saloon is temporarily closed while looking for bartenders. According to their Facebook page: “So, someone added us to some Facebook group list of permanently closed Anchorage businesses and to that, we’d like to call bullshit. We’re not open, simply because we haven’t found any new bartenders. And it probably didn’t help that this misinformed group went and told the internet we’re closed! ? Thanks!”
Rippie World, in an emailed statement, tells me, “Hello, I’m Kevin Meiners, owner of Rippie World. We have not permanently closed, but are in fact temporarily closed. Thanks for the article.”
Judy’s Cafe: “Just to quickly chime in, we own Judy’s and it’s 100% not ‘closed forever’. We own the building and the land. We’re not going anywhere.”
Charlou: In an emailed statement, the owners of Charlou said, “Charlou is permanently closed, yes. But not because of the Mayor, the mandates, or COVID-19. The COVID-19 mandates that were put into place by (former) Mayor Ethan Berkowitz were understandable and we followed them happily. Safety was our main concern, during the COVID-19 version of Charlou. Our closure had nothing to do with Mayor Ethan Berkowitz or his dutiful response to the global pandemic.”
Gap Inc. announced a “North America Fleet Transformation” for their company last year. The company, which owns Banana Republic — made a nationwide decision to restructure.
The Red Chair Cafe — also listed on the RIP Save Anchorage flyer — looks to be testing new delicious things for you to eat. The local business is relocating to an as-yet-announced location.
Reportedly, the Weight Watchers (WW) closing has to do with the mall being sold and Weight Watchers National cutting staff, not specifically local mandates.
The owner of Crostini, according to a friend of the owner, “was ready to retire and felt this summer was a good time to do so.”
The Body Shop previously located at 5th Avenue Mall, has reportedly been consolidated with the Dimond Center location.
The parent company of Men’s Warehouse made a decision to close stores nationally in the summer of 2020 due to the pandemic.
Papa Murphy’s reportedly closed in 2019.
Alaska Medical Specialties did not give a reason for their closure, writing only on their Facebook page, “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closing of Alaska Medical Specialties and all of its affiliates including Alaska Urological Institute, Medical Office of Dr. Stiassny and Alaska Breast and Cosmetic Center effective September 30th, 2020.”
Southside Sun Spa has reportedly been closed for roughly over a year. They last posted to Facebook on November 29, 2019.
Eagle River Smiles writes on their Facebook page: “In order to best assist you during this time, our office is still open for dental emergencies. Please contact our office if you are experiencing a dental emergency so we can find the best way to help you!” A recording for the business states the same.
Aveda Salon & Spa is a national brand, not the name of a salon as best as I’m able to ascertain. A search for Aveda in Anchorage yielded local businesses that sell Aveda products.
Swim Alaska wrote in part of their closing on Facebook, “With a heavy Heart it saddens me that after researching and learning about the COVID-19 Social Distancing Aquatic Facility Requirements and Regulations with the CDC and ARC as of today Swim Alaska is no longer in Business.”
Marco T’s Pizzeria is indeed closed but is reportedly hoping to reopen in the future.
Anchorage Floral: The walk-in storefront is closed but they are taking orders via phone and the website. According to their website, they are also “taking Valentine’s Day orders for local flower delivery in Anchorage.”
Roti says they are temporarily closed, writing on their Facebook page: “With high COVID cases, we had to rethink our choices and preferring to err on the side of caution, have decided to temporarily stop taking orders. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too long before I see all of you again. Meanwhile, stay safe and stay warm!”
Build it Balloon posted to their Facebook page on January 12th “Who’s getting ready for Valentines? There will be more to come.” On January 16th, ”We will be back in the BX Mall on JBER. You will find us right in front of the exchange entrance. We will be open everyday 10-5.”
Orso, writing on their Facebook page March 16, 2020: “As of 3:00pm Monday March 16, we will be, regretfully, closing our restaurants and brewery due to the virus and Mayor Berkowitz’s closure mandate. We realize this causes great hardship for our guests and our crew. We anticipate we will be re-opening in the future, and believe as always that together we will get through this difficult time.”
Pangea Restaraunt & Lounge is reportedly temporarily closed but their website says, “Reopening Soon! Thank you for supporting local.” The phone number listed for the business did not work.
The Alaska Urological Institute cited COVID-19 as a factor but also said that the business lost $3 million in 2019, in part because it had to pay high salaries to attract physicians to Alaska.
Crab Terror Island reportedly closed ahead of the pandemic in 2019 according to an individual familiar with the business.
AAA Rubberstamp reportedly closed when the owner retired.
Olive & Vinegar — according to a Facebook post on January 4, 2021 — the local business had been trying to sell the business for the past two years. They cite the closing of Nordstrom and the introduction of COVID-19 as contributing factors for their decision.