Assembly member Chris Constant, who represents downtown Anchorage, took to Facebook today to badmouth Kriner’s Diner, a popular midtown cafe.
In his pointed warning to the cafe, Constant referred to restaurant code violations discovered at the establishment in the past.
They were minor violations, such as inadequate lighting and food not being stored in its original container. They had nothing to do with cleanliness, but Constant told his Facebook followers that (wink wink) the health report would tell them everything they need to know about the restaurant.
Constant, who was recently reelected in April, was jabbing at a family-owned restaurant hit hard by the Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’ previous shutdowns.
Kriner’s Diner owner Andy Kriner is now defying the mayor’s order to shut down for an entire month. He says his business cannot afford to close down.
This week, Kriner had more customers than usual in his establishment on C Street, as the public has flocked in to support the renegade restauranteur. Some people are writing checks to him to help him cover the cost of the $500 per day fine the mayor has promised to levy against him.
The code enforcers arrived at Kriner’s today to attempt to shut it down with a stop work order. They were booed by the diners.
Kriner says he will open up again on Wednesday at 9 am in defiance of the mayor’s orders.
It will be Day 3 of the Kriner Resistance, with fines that could, at $500 per day, total $1,500.
He isn’t the only one.
Little Dipper Diner on West Dimond Blvd. also said it will be open on Wednesday for dine in.
“As most of our guest already know we are Family owned and operated. We are not trying to be unlawful, but we feel EO15 is just so unfair, we just will not survive this month of closure after the last one, we barely survived that.
“The municipality is not helping us or anyone other restaurant or bar in any way.”
“We have put our whole lives into this restaurant and don’t want to lose everything we’ve worked so hard to obtain,” the owners wrote.
Kriner and others who defy the mayor could find their restaurants subject to surprise health inspections, as it’s clear that Assemblyman Constant was already trying to dig up dirt on Kriner. Will he go after the others who defy orders as well?
As much as restaurant health inspections are important, they are also used as political weapons. The mayor’s three restaurants miraculously score 100 on their inspections.
Berkowitz’ restaurants also likely had forewarning that he was going to shut down indoor dining, and they’ve managed to get dining tents up to continue operations, even while Berkowitz whipsaws the local economy with his shut-open-shut policies..
The mayor and his minions are now lashing out, saying that his restaurants did not receive special treatment or have special knowledge.
But even the Cabaret, Hotel, and Restaurant trade group said that its membership was shut out of final discussions just before the latest shutdown, which lasts for the entire month of August. The restaurant group expressed its frustration in a letter to its membership statewide.