After five years of failure downtown, Halcro doubles down with 'Operation Berkowitz Damage Control' - Must Read Alaska
Connect with:
Saturday, September 19, 2020
HomePoliticsAfter five years of failure downtown, Halcro doubles down with ‘Operation Berkowitz Damage Control’

After five years of failure downtown, Halcro doubles down with ‘Operation Berkowitz Damage Control’

In an apparent admission of unfair treatment for businesses downtown, a political functionary of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says he is now coming to the rescue of other downtown Anchorage restaurants.

Berkowitz had come under withering criticism for helping certain restaurants survive under the mayor’s lockdown of establishments, but not helping others. The perceived crony capitalism made it to the Tucker Carlson Tonight show on Fox on Wednesday.

Andrew Halcro, who runs EasyPark, now says he will personally help other restaurants design “cool curbside seating. Hit me up at @easyparkalaska.com.”

Halcro has served in the capacity of being in charge of downtown since Berkowitz took office over five years ago. He runs the Anchorage Community Development Authority. Food trucks and a rooftop basketball court on a parking garage have been his signature achievements, while the departure of Nordstrom has been his signature failure.

This quick marketing move to help other restaurants indicates the mayor and Halcro have had a conversation and decided that rather than being arbitrary and capricious in helping a handful of restaurants, they need some political cover, if after the fact.

[Read: Mayor hands out favors to his business partners]

Halcro came up with a name for it: “Operation Downtown Dine-Out.” What it amounts to is that Halcro is offering to consult with other restaurants and help them come up with outdoor dining.

All week, Halcro has been the mayor’s point-of-the-spear in hitting back at critics, specifically at Must Read Alaska, who said shutting down G Street in order to help one of Berkowitz’ business partners was showing favoritism to his own network of restaurant business interests.

Must Read Alaska has learned that other restaurants in the city are struggling with the city getting permits so they can establish outdoor seating. Some have given up, while others are openly defying the mayor and continuing to open their doors every day.

They said they didn’t have time to respond after the shutdown orders came on Friday, closing them down starting on Monday. Several said Berkowitz didn’t give them time to clear out their inventory. Others said if they shut down this time, it would kill them off for good.

Before the latest shutdown, through Halcro and the Downtown Partnership, Berkowitz had closed down G Street so Crush, a wine bar, could have its own street dining area.

They are calling their plan the “Open Street” plan, but it actually closes streets down, specifically portions of F and G Streets.

Anchorage weather is cool in August, with evening temperatures often dipping into the low 50s. Outdoor dining in Alaska isn’t for everyone, especially in late August as the sun begins to wane.

Meanwhile, the Berkowitz Administration continues his battle against Kriner’s Diner and other restaurants in midtown, racking up $600 a day against those who stay open for indoor dining.

In addition to Kriner’s, Wings and Things, Jackie’s Place, and Little Dipper Diner have defied the mayor’s orders and opened for business.

The injunction hearing against Kriner’s Diner by the Berkowitz Administration began at noon in court today, but ended early after judge Josie Garton recused herself from the case.

The lawsuit the Berkowitz Administration filed against Kriner’s will be reassigned to a new judge, with hearing likely on Friday.

Donations Welcome

Share

Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • To bad Judge Garton did not throw out the case and move on…..The real Judge in this case, or issue, will be and is the people of Alaska and they are beginning to speak up load and clear each day now….I hope any new judge hears them!!!!..When people put their money and time on the line the issue will have legs….

  • I am not seeing where Mr. Halcro is doing much of anything here. But then, what do you expect from a marijuana magnate?

  • Little Andy Halcro who was born with a Golden Spoon has never had to actually work a day in His life has ridden out of shadows to save the Day on His Democrat A__ to save the day! What a Hero.

  • Trying to get cover for Berkowitz just shows how Hypocritical this Mayor is. He needs to resign immediately.

  • Maybe someone needs to start a recall effort for the Mayor

  • Does Ethan like horseradish on his pastrami sandwich, or would he rather have a meatball and crackers?

  • “shutting down G Street in order to help one of Berkowitz’ business partners was showing favoritism to his own network of restaurant business interests”

    I’ve driven around town and seen plenty more restaurants that have tents and outdoor seating set up. I don’t think restaurants should have been shut down, but I also don’t think the quote above is an accurate statement.

    • Other restaurants have tents and outdoor seating. What they don’t have is the Mayor personally closing streets for their outdoor seating.

  • Can’t this guy crawl back under his rock?

  • Opperation downtown dine out sounds like he just wants to help the Berkowitz owned restaurants

  • I would expect this type of stuff from a NYC, LA, Chicago, or San Francisco, but Anchorage? We are way too small of a city to hide this type of corruption. Too many people know too much.

    We need to recall Berkowitz, and every member of the Assembly that is walking in lockstep with him.

    • Mayor Begich wanted to make Anchorage “the Portland of the north.”

  • One thing you must hand to Halcro. He is taller than little ethan. I didn’t like him when he tried to schmooze his way into Alaska politics. I like him even less now that his true colors are showing. Anchorage will keep paying the price of leftist “leadership” until the little guy and the likes of Halcro are in the rear view mirror of Anchorage and Alaska politics. Both are political bantam roosters who want to be Foghorn Leghorn and have no more competence than chicken little. That recall I hear about should be gathering steam about now.

  • I’d love it if each judge assigned to the case recused themselves…one by one.

  • Andy Halcro has been a failure at everything he has touched. An overeducated elitist who can’t hold a candle to his father Bob Halcro’s achievements. Bob started Avis Rent A Car here in AK and went on to do much good for this community. He started the Walk For Hope to benefit Hope cottages and lots more. Andy has failed at running for governor, mayor and US House of Rep. He is the one that raised the meter rates so high downtown that no one thinks it’s worth going down there unless they have to. I could go on and on….
    And this guy is now going to help downtown business…that’s a joke. The guy that likes to close off streets for Sat. Market which reduces downtown parking even more and takes business away from those that are there paying rent and taxes all year long. It seems to me that just about everything he has done has hurt downtown businesses rather than helped.
    If you see him at your business’ door I suggest you run fast or do the opposite of what he recommends. Where are people supposed to park when streets are blocked off with his “Downtown Dine-Out” program?

    • Halcro’s creds make him a perfect candidate to run AEDC. The AEDC is adept at losing millions and if the truth were known mabe billions………..

  • Halcro always was a slug and a Berkowitz a hack. Hopefully, when Berkowitz is gone he’ll take the slug with him.

  • FYI…Fat Ptarmigan had what looked like contractors building an outdoor seating area on the northbound lane of E Street today! Maybe they’re “insiders”, maybe not. Perhaps they’re just doing what they can to survive (respect 👊🏼 To any business/restaurant trying to make a dine in this Communist regime). This is not an endorsement of Berkowitz or his vampire sidekick, Halcro! Rather, it is yet another example of their crony-Communism! Halcro’s weak attempt at extending an olive branch is reactionary at best! In their secluded, authoritarian world, they didn’t think they would get resistance. Once they did, Berkowitz’ lap dog sprung into action. These dopes believe they’re above all of us. Don’t give in! They work for us and enough is enough!!

  • Andrew and Ethan are fellow travelers. All about keeping up the facade of a trendy downtown when in fact its full of street people trashing the place. I stopped going to and stopped suggesting my business associates and family visitors from out of state spend any time downtown, after watching a bum bend over and defecate on a wall near 4th and E St. Everyone I know now uses the Midtown hotels rather than Captain Cook Hilton and such. Really sad as those properties really have tried to maintain in light of what is going on in the streets outside.

    Heck, last week I had to park at a meter near the Marriott for a business meeting…after inserting the fifth quarter, realized it was not registering payment on the display. Seems like every couple years they replace those meters, now they have some high zoot things where one can use a credit cards as well as coins. Hey Andrew… You know after we park and get all our stuff out of the car to go in and do a sales presentation, we don’t have time to reconfigure and move the car because your meters don’t work. Those of us actually working and contributing to society outside of the government sector don’t have time to call the goofy phone number on the meter when something’s broken.

    I wonder too, who is making money off all of the multiple iterations of new parking meters over the years. What a bunch of crap.

    I’d like to see Ethan and Andrew both run out of town.

    Let’s not even start on the local Avis franchise. Another half butt Andrew operation. Or used to be. We quit using Avis locally long ago.

  • How can we send $ to these Diners for their legal defense? Is there an account?

    • Send it to the diner directly.

  • We need to run these SOB’s out of town and back to Califruiti. They are destroying the city and Alaska. Anchorage is now a 3rd rate city like the rest of the left coast cities. Wake up republicans and independents, now is the time to reject the left!

  • Why did judge Josie Garton recused herself from the case?

    • Probably up for confirmation again this year and saw what happen to the other Judge that ruled wrong in a case. That Judge was thrown out in the next election cycle.

    • She has interest in another dining establishment.

  • Add to the list of pending failures for Halcro is the “Boutique Hotel and Apartments” at the downtown bus station location.

    “A $60 million boutique hotel project in downtown Anchorage faces headwinds amid a contractual dispute between the developer and the landowner, the Anchorage Community Development Authority.

    The project is behind schedule. David Irwin, president of the developer, Irwin Development Group, said Monday the project was originally scheduled to start construction in May but is now on hold until at least September.”

  • Do we denigrate Americans from New England for their accents?

    Do we denigrate Americans from Texas for their drawl?

    No?

    Why then are we upset with our San Francisco bred and indoctrinated mayor for simply trying to make Anchorage feel more like ‘Frisco?

    • Because San Francisco sucks.

  • Democrats seem perfectly willing to destroy the private sector businesses to further their political ambitions. I think we ought to dust off our Remember the Alamo signs and replace the message to Support Kriners

  • They the radical left planned to take over the entire west coast major city by major city and if they can enslave the west coast. That’s a third of America.

  • Berkowitz & Halcro are clones, but they’re politically savvy enough to know that when your face shows up on the highest rated national tv news program getting mudballed, you’ve got to start digging yourself out pronto. Must Read Alaska deserves huge kudos for presenting this beautifully tempting case like dessert to Carlson. It worked like a well oiled machine. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: