Anchorage opens slowly, but many merchants stay closed - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, July 28, 2021
HomePoliticsAnchorage opens slowly, but many merchants stay closed

Anchorage opens slowly, but many merchants stay closed

Only a few restaurants dared open this week in Anchorage for sit down service. And not many stores are open yet, although they can legally open.

Must Read Alaska readers ventured out to see if they could sit down in a restaurant, rather than order take-out food. Under the previous coronavirus health mandate, restaurants were forbidden from offering a table to patrons — you had to take your food with you at the few dining establishments that were prepared to shift to an all-to-go dining experience.

One airline employee relayed her dining safari in downtown Anchorage. After trying without luck to eat at Lucky Wishbone or the Glacier Brewhouse, she found that Simon & Seaforts was open, and she was easily able to make a reservation to eat in the bar area. There were about a dozen patrons, she said, and the waiter wore a mask. What’s more, the chef even made a special dish of halibut and slaw, something that is not normally on the menu.

Another MRAK reader said she and her husband “dined out” at Arctic Roadrunner, eating at the outdoor tables. “Lunch at Arctic Roadrunner was delicious as always with the perfect weather for our table by the creek!” she wrote. “We ordered our food with a plexiglass piece mounted in a wooden frame with a space underneath for the cash (because they don’t accept cards to go through).”

Bernadette Wilson, one of the organizers of the “Open Alaska” rally last week, wandered into the Dimond Mall to see if she could replace a broken butter dish. No such luck. While the mall was open, all the stores were closed, as her video shows:

The Dimond Mall may be open, but your money is no good there. Nothing was open on Tuesday.

Wilson said she talked to one store owner who said that the mandates are confusing and changing, and the company did not want to risk running afoul of the government.

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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

  • Good. People have more common sense that I originally gave the credit for.

  • Perhaps the Municipal regime will gain some understanding of the sad truth that it is far easier to destroy business than it is to create it. At least in Anchorage, Alaska in 2020. Quite a legacy.

  • The quicker these requirements are made clearer, or some reasonable standard of equivalents is given so that these businesses can be compliant and have options, the better. The fact these people had their businesses destroyed via government mandate is abhorrent, but that we will be picking winners and losers now based on who can understand confusing “bureau-babble” and who can procure, what have become some of the most in demand items on the planet, seems beyond ludicrous.

    In addition to all that, which seems to me to be common sense, we need some level of blanket liability release from all the frivolous lawsuits related to Covid 19 that will inevitably come down the pike. Otherwise you’ll have businesses that survived the government closure, survived the maze of incoherent regulations, and the “PPE Lottery”, survived all that, only to be wiped out because someone sneezed on someone’s aunt in a parking lot on the way to their store. The only thing certain to come from this insanity, is more insanity. Having seen what we have seen, and knowing what we now know, if we don’t act to prevent even more madness, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

    • Nice way to over explain things. There wouldn’t be any liability for an aunt sneezing, in the parking lot, but IF an employee sneezed on a customer in the store, then there could be liability claims. Stores should screen their own employees.

  • Hope the Gov steps in on this!

  • Does anybody know when Trendsetters Beauty School pens up or where I can get a haircut in Anchorage for $10 like Trendsetters does?

  • Alaska has one of the lowest incidents of the Wuhan Virus of all the states. It is far past time that our local small businesses are released from their unwarranted suppression by the state.

    Strong restrictive action was sensible when there was NO data available. Now we have much data through testing that that indicates those early computer models were wildly inaccurate (Climate change enthusiasts, take note). This data shows the Wuhan Virus has a similar incidence and mortality rates to our regular seasonal flu Yes, people with medical issues should be protected with reasonable measures. Wash hands, ‘social distance’ (whatever that means), keep your hands off your face, wear gloves, wear your mask, if you must.

    But, for the love of pete, open up small businesses! And not “slowly”. We will not have to worry about businesses complying with the state’s rules. THERE WILL BE NO BUSINESSES LEFT. It is ludicrous that the state standard allows the public to wander around in big box stores with little restrictions while other small businesses are completely shut down. We shut off “non-essential” health care from those who need it. “Non-essential” has a whole different meaning to those who need it. Our health care providers are obsessed with “virtual examinations” which discourages preventative medicine taking place. This is a good example of what socialized medicine will bring in the future.

    Guaranteed, in the coming months we will wonder how & why we self destroyed our already lethargic Alaska economy. We will also discover the social and health costs wrought by this never before attempted quarantining of a healthy population. We will also marvel at how easily we suspended our Constitution rights to accommodate ‘safety’. It will be even easier in the future.

    Kristi Noem had it right.

    And for God’s sake, OPEN UP THE CHURCHES!

    • we have a 3% death rate. How do you figure?

  • Were the customers at Simon’s wearing face masks other than when eating? Were people seated together all in the same household as ‘required?’ Were their names and phone numbers recorded for the Man to have? More info please. The restaurant and bar business has, as I have said before, been ‘assassinated’ and for no justifiable reason. We could have easily provided safe service, at least safer than the grocery store and airport petri dishes. After weeks of this, Costco is now going to require customers to wear masks? People in stores are touching fruit, vegetables and other merchandise and putting it back for others to touch; some wear masks, most don’t, but a bartender can’t serve a drink to a customer. Airport bars open but the city is shutdown? Stop the madness! Fight the fear! Get into that car with the mountain lion Ricky Bobby.

    • This isn’t spread by fruit touching. God I hate is when people are ignorant.

      • Then why wash your hands?

  • Businesses are not opening right now because of the heavy hand of the City and State government.
    If a business were to make a mistake in the process, there is no doubt Gov. Dunleavy or Mayor Berkowitz would step in and close them down.
    No one should take a chance with these 2 clowns.

  • Most businesses cannot afford the added requirements to reopen so they are not. Can you imagine if the grocery stores couldn’t be open? Y’all would go insane. We need food. We need toilet paper, cleaning products etc. Plenty of people cramming thru those doors mobbing the poor stockers. The reason small business isn’t opening is because people aren’t social distancing mostly at all. I don’t go to the store that often. But when I God it’s a mad house. It’s not the store’s fault. The general public is being very inconsiderate of employees at stores in general from what I have seen. Most are with at least one other person…but very few children so guessing they managed to find childcare. But people are going in groups and saying “oh sure we are all one household/vehicle”. None look related in any way but, oh well. If these stores closed there would be riots. If restaurants didn’t deliver and do carry out, there would be riots. Look at what you are asking of people. Little tiny specialty shops cannot accommodate social distancing safely. This is why the mall stores are closed. Little tiny eateries cannot accommodate social distancing. That’s why they are closed. Get a grip, use common sense and show some consideration in the stores that are open and maybe others will be able to. It’s not employees and owners that are the problem. It’s the general public that needs to learn to control themselves. Get a grip people. If people behaved themselves in the big box stores I am betting that more businesses could open. Security cameras are everywhere and am guessing some of the data is coming from watching some of you clowns mobbing the butcher guy sticking the meat department.

    • You hit the nail on the head. The virus is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing and generally just breathing. You know when you exhale on your glasses to clean them off, and the moisture on them comes from your breath??? That is the droplets that contains the virus, so just breathing spreads it. That is how asymptomatic people can spread it just by being alive. People are like cattle or sheep, they band together and forget that they should be masking up and/or staying at least 6-10 feet apart. Mostly they don’t care about their fellow man, or at least the unknown person standing next to them. It’s all about ME ME ME! That is the cold hard truth.

      • The Diamond Mall’s business manager knows the rules and so do the businesses. Don’t try to put this closure off on the Gov’t. They choose not to reopen just yet because there are people making bad decisions on the other side of the gates.

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