Kriner’s War: Diner opens, code enforcers converge, and Anchorage takes to Facebook to discuss



A war of words over restaurant closures in Anchorage broke out on Facebook today, as more than one popular restaurant in Anchorage openly defied Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’ order to close and people took to social media to discuss it. But it was the one restaurant that got everyone talking, even though a couple of other ones looked like they defied the ban as well.

Kriner’s Diner turned on the “open” sign this morning as usual and by noon the code enforcers of the municipality had arrived and taped a “Stop Work Order” on the building. The code enforcers, who warned Kriner of possible jail time, were roundly booed by the diners inside.

In the end, Andy Kriner said he was more at risk of having to close temporarily at 3 pm because he was running out of food, not because of the stop work order. The restaurant will be open again at 9 am on Wednesday, he said.

On Facebook, people were posting pictures of themselves at the cafe on C Street, and business was brisk. Some people came in and left money on the counter for the Kriner family, to pay the $500 per day fine the mayor was threatening to levy.

Also on Facebook, incensed critics raged about the irresponsibility of staying open and the patrons who supported the restaurants.

Harriet Drummond, the House Representative for District 18, ranted about the “incredibly dangerous behavior,” while her husband, Elstun Lauesen said that the Kriner’s Diner crowd were “hopeless, miserable people.”

  • There were 40 new cases of coronavirus diagnosed in Anchorage in the last 24 hours.
  • Alaska has the sixth lowest case load per capita in the country.
  • Hospitals rooms are half empty in Anchorage. There are 27 reported COVID-19 cases in Alaska hospitals currently.

Then came a text message from Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to the owner of Kriner’s Diner. The mayor wanted to talk.

“Come on in,” Andy Kriner responded on text. There was a phone call. Evidently the mayor was trying to convince Kriner that the CARES Act money would cover his losses. Kriner did not seem to have time; there were people to feed.

The war was definitely on as diners enjoyed their meals and as a server bought meals for veterans. Former House Speaker Mike Chenault was spotted, and so was a local reporter, who shall go unnamed.

The patrons cheered when a group of veterans showed up for breakfast, and gave them and Assemblywoman Jamie Allard of Eagle River a standing ovation. Allard arrived with legislative candidate Kathy Henslee, who is running for House District 23. The two were having breakfast before hitting the road for the door-to-door campaigning.

After the code enforcers left, a patron exited the building and tore the stop work order off the wall on his way out.


    • Perfect example of an SJW crying racist when nothing about the story has anything to do with race. I’m going to Kriner’s for breakfast in the morning and I’ll leave a large tip…….Semper Paratus……..Always Ready

    • It’s my absolute favorite thing in the world when we use a word so frequently and recklessly that it loses its meaning. Racist, ha! What does that even mean anymore except “I don’t like you.”

      • People are dying and all you care about is being able to go to a restaurant! Please! Keep everyone safe go home & cook or go to a drive thru or better yet curbside pick up then take home to eat! Kriners and the rest of the people in the diner are obviously just plain selfish!

        • It is not the restaurants. Closing the restaurants will change nothing. Damaging knee jerk reaction. Look at the demographics of the case numbers. Young adults, an age group that socially gathers in larger numbers frequently, more than other age groups. This is not happening in sit down restaurants.

        • Get a grip! Just like any other flu in past years there have been deaths associated with this virus. As far as people dying in Alaska, the numbers have been very low with some deaths being counted for people out-of-state and the majority of them associated with the very elderly who have major underlying health conditions. If you are that afraid of the virus you are more than welcome to not frequent the places that are remaining open. Problem solved!

    • ??? go back to your violent protests!!! If you enjoy socialism so much there are plenty of failing countries around the world who would love to take you in.

    • Julia,

      Chill! If you don’t want to eat at Kriner’s you can still eat at Crush and South.

      • I’m working out of town but will make a visit to the diner (. never been there ) and pay for some good people’s meal and help the owner
        I’m not surprised this is happening , it’s what it will take to overturn the Mayors draconian measures
        The covid. Virus will eventually run its course , certainly after November election if Biden wins

    • Okay, you sparked my interest Julia. How does a diner and its patrons openly defying the emergency orders of a mayor equate to you labeling them as racists? I can understand (but not agree with) your viewpoint of considering them irresponsible scofflaws but racist, really? Regardless of your personal feelings on the subject, try to be objective and human. Common sense dictates that nothing they are doing meets the definition of racism.

    • Democrats are America’s most Hateful group, all they can speak is hateful innuendos! Trump 2016 election revealed what true Conservatives known all long.

    • Racist? Julia, overreact much! Guess you take after the mayor on that part.

      I wouldn’t call them irresponsible or scofflaws. They are standing up for what is right, the mayor has been inexcusable during this whole COVID ordeal. What was your position on the BLM protests?

      -The Other Jerry

    • You should hear yourself – you are so full of hate. Wishing bad things on people just trying to survive this C-19 thing. You want to make it political. “ hatred corrodes the vessel that carries it “. Please calm down – talking like you do, makes you sound unstable. Because what kind of a person wants other people to fail.

    • Julia Moudy the public defender wants everyone to go to jail. You need a stay on the 5th floor my dear.

    • I suspect, if this were 1950’s Alabama, you Ms Moudy would be objecting to Mr Kriner serving African Americans at his diner because it was going against the Mayors immoral orders. #learnyourhistory #takeaminuteandthinkforyourself

    • Julia,

      I feel sorry for all your cats. I bet you make them wear mask when they drive in the car with you.

    • What does racism have to do with this???? Is it because their tasty hamburger buns are only made with white flour???? If they offered wheat or pumpernickel buns would that make it a more “politically correct” meal???? I’ve got friends of multiple races and ethnicities. I’d seriously like to see how you can justify such a statement.

    • Julia Moudy. IQ = far below room temperature. Limited vocabulary. Candidate for mental illness treatment. Not sharp enough to engage with MRAK.

    • What is the matter with you? What part of trying to run a business is racist? There is nothing irresponsible here and you should stay home and live in fear. The rest of us need a damn sandwich

    • “Racist, irresponsible, scofflaws”

      1. Racist? Where on earth did that come from?
      2. Irresponsible? Perhaps – the science is, at best, still out on that one. Either way, it’s not your call to make whether someone with skills and a restaurant can feed their family by feeding others.
      3. Scofflaws? There’s the key – which law, exactly? The emergency power bestowed on a mayor to do anything to anyone deemed to be non-essential, less than worthy, and too small to matter? Arbitrarily picking and choosing businesses to crush [pun intended] wasn’t supposed to be part of the deal, was it?

    • I’ll be honest, I loved Kriners food !!! Not riding the bandwagon. I always hit Kriners. People that work there are really great people and service is top notch. I never need to eat at a Berkowitz restaurant and I never will.

    • Oh, dear me.

      There’s really no nice way to put it, Julia, so I’ll try to be as kind as possible and note that you come across as an hysterical lunatic with a wild imagination, a fondness for government bullying, and if you’re the same “Julia Moudy” who’s in the public defenders’ office, you’re clearly unfit for the role or any other position on the taxpayers’ payroll.

      And in the event that you ARE that very same “Julia Moudy”, let’s also acknowledge that you’d stand to personally benefit if the Kriners were to find themselves facing charges and with their source of income removed, shall we?

    • The MAYORS orders can be called racist as he is using HIS OFFICE to target business owners in Anchorage HE and HIS CRONIES don’t want around. HE is using his office to profit and force others to close, some to close permanently. I hope you grow up and learn some stuff there Julia, but if not, I hope you have all the Karma in the world for espousing ill will towards an Anchorage landmark that’s just trying to make a living.

      Oh, and before you call ME names, I handicapped myself in my youth so YOU have your 1st Amendment rights to call people names and not show anyone any respect and courtesy. Enjoy YOUR rights. Semper Fi!

      • It is nothing but a senseless knee jerk reaction by a guy who has a very tenuous grasp of reality.

    • Americans, all. The Mayor is not sanctioned dictator. Every patron was present by choice; it’s none of your business or concern.

    • When the mayor attended the BLM protest, and embraced and spurred on his fellow revolutionaries (who were not socially distancing), I guess that was not being irresponsible. Also… “Scofflaw,” I am not sure this word means what you think it means. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia…”Scofflaw is a noun coined during the Prohibition era to mean a person who drinks illegally. It is a compound of the words scoff and law. It’s original meaning was someone who mocks or ridicules anti-drinking laws, but has extended to mean one who flouts any law, especially those difficult to enforce, and particularly traffic laws.”
      Call the actions of Kriner’s what it is… an exercise in civil disobedience against an legitimate tyrannical edict of a small-minded Marxist mayor who’s only love for the law is that which gives him power over other peoples livelihood. Vive la resistance!

  1. Wow! Another hateful demokrat going straight to the race card & calling calm, peaceful, protest irresponsible. Technically, scofflaw isn’t correct because it’s actually very easy to enforce…& I believe the fines will be paid…unless they are ruled invalid at a later date. As to wishing they be jailed…? Incredibly tolerant of them.

  2. I ate sit-down breakfasts in a crowded restaurant in Fairbanks on Friday and Monday, with not a mask in sight. If Kriner’s truly want to stay open they need to take up the little tyrant’s offer to meet with him and make him a partner, then all will be good. Or send him back to San Francisco.

  3. Elsten W. Lauesen and Harriet Drummond…if you’re that worried about it, stay in your home and don’t come out until the coast is clear. You can fill your time by drinking the KoolAid. Maybe you’ll come out better for it. (I rather doubt it, but one can hope anyway). If you need something to fill your time, you can invite the homeless people to camp in your yard.

  4. Awesome! Love it! More businesses need to join in. And for Harriet and her chariot….you did exactly what was expected of you and you did exactly what everyone should do that disagrees…. keep your behind home and don’t participate. Easy as that! If you don’t feel safe, don’t go. The rest of us want to get on with our lives.
    Stay the course Kriners!!

  5. This is the intentional murder of the middle class….. Racists Julia? Oh yes, Alinsky 101,,, when in doubt they gots to be racist. This is who we are dealing with….sheesh.

    • Restaurants have been open in the valley for weeks now. Vagabond cafe and espresso in Palmer, packed daily. Turkey Red, Palmer City Ale House, both full during dining hours. Only difference is a bit more space between tables. Other restaurants probably
      the same. Yet look at the valley case count. Low. It is not restaurants and cafes. It is social gatherings with close contact. Destroying the restaurant economy will solve nothing.

  6. Go Andy Kriner!!! Just so you know, I won’t be dining downtown at Ethan’s establishments on Gst!! Only Kriners Diner!!!

    • I won’t be eating any of Ethan’s restaurants either. And I love all of them but I won’t put a pea on Ethan’s plate after his Marxist Mask Mandate and his utter lack of concern, let alone compassion, for the businesses and people he is hurting. I’ll be eating at Kriner’s and anyone else who thumbs their nose at our mayor’s unconstitutional mandates.

    • Thanks for the list. Have wanted to visit Crush but not after learning its owners. No Anchorage spend at all this next trip.

  7. Bravo Mr. Kriner. Bravo!! May your courageous act inspire other businesses to do the same and stand up and stand strong against the power-hungry tyranny of Berkowitz! Maybe this will help to light a fire and burn away the complacency!

  8. Elstun should go brush up his yellow teeth. He and his wife are obese narcissists, only content when making others miserable. If they had any good sense about health, he’d lose some weight, quit yelling at citizens to obey his wife, and find something better to do than write prop-up pieces for the Anchorage Press about the dems.

    • I love the use of “y’all” in his text message. The latest affectation of virtuous white liberals. The Chinese have a great word for them: “bazuo.”

  9. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin 1755

    • So true. thanks for reminding us of Benjamin’s words. Some people are so into safety that they forgot liberty.

  10. Andy needs to have a sign up sheet only accepting patrons with pre existing medical conditions. They just note on the log. Harriett can dine there…Sjmhe has mad cow disease

  11. …and Julia Moudy; you’ll find your spiritual home at ADN. The MRAK forum is for thinking individuals and should not be soiled with poorly formed nonsensical remarks. You’ve littered the place at least twice. Toodles.

  12. So Andy Kriner confronts the bully. Maybe this will embolden others. In a time when bullying is so despised, it is surprising that more folks don’t recognize this is exactly what Ethan, our mayor, is doing. “Give me your lunch money!” to summarize his behavior by fiat.

  13. Looks like even NPR is changing it’s tune…

    [Live link removed by moderator]

  14. Good for them, if I lived in Anchorage I would be dining in! I’d even buy breakfast for the code enforcers.

  15. Hopefully this starts a protest and other restaurants will open up for business. It’s high time Alaskans started acting like Alaskans and stand for what’s right.

    • It’s high time Alaskans started voting like Alaskans to take back control from the public unions to keep these socialist tyrants out of office.

  16. Julia’s pussy hat must be too tight.

    Little ethan’s phone number was captured in the screen shot.
    EVERYONE should call him.

  17. Every single dining establishment should do the same thing. We will support you. We will come. Meanwhile, the chamber should be organizing a class action suit against the city and the mayor seeking an injunction and then damages. These emergency orders are based in nothing. <1% of positive tests end up in the hospital. For a virus that in March supposedly was going to kill 4% of the people who got it. How is this still an emergency? Oh because the assembly says it is. Its time to go to court and fast. We need to flood the state and federal supreme court with cases like this.

  18. If the reason for the latest business crushing edict from the Mayors office is that we must, once again flatten the curve because another wave of COVID is going to overwhelm our healthcare system, then why are we not using that 22.7 million in CARES money to bolster our healthcare system? Buy more masks and ventilators, more hospital beds etc. Instead the Mayor wants to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs (taxpaying employers) and buy hotel space for those who do not pay taxes, employ no one and use up city resources! Could it be that he knows that (just like the first wave) the second wave is not coming and all this is just political posturing?

  19. Julia you’re not welcome with that attitude. Please leave the state so we can rid it of narrow-minded uneducated crybabies like you. Racist ? You need counseling bad.

  20. It might be that the current Mayor and some of his associates are not enjoying the new form of “the Resistance” that is being brought to bear here. Everyone can play that game. Life’s a xxxxx isn’t it?

  21. Glad to see some good people protesting local government over reach. Real Alaskan’s, and Americans, understand that there are risks in life and want to make their own risk decisions. It is wrong for the Mayor to make an individuals risk decision by shutting down restaurants. If folks think the Mayor should be able to shut down restaurants to minimize individual risk then McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, etc. might be the next restaurants that are closed since we definitely can’t let people eat at places that will make them fat and give them heart disease.

  22. “Hospitals rooms are half empty in Anchorage. There are 27 reported COVID-19 cases in Alaska hospitals currently.”

    Suzanne, where are you getting your hospital numbers from? Currently 575/724 (79%) inpatient beds at Anchorage general acute and critical access facilities are occupied. 47/92 (51%) ICU beds are occupied, and 26/148 (18%) ventilators are currently in use at those same Anchorage facilities. This is all public data viewable on the DHSS data hub.

    • I’m getting it from the same place you are. Yes, as of today there are 23 in the hospital in Alaska with COVID. ICU occupied is 47 out of 92 in Anchorage, as you say.

      • Well you say “Hospitals rooms are half empty in Anchorage” which would lead one to believe you are talking about total inpatient beds, which haven’t been half empty for weeks. Seems a bit misleading coming from someone who is always hounding the other side for writing misleading pieces.

  23. Suzanne, do comments need to be approved before being posted or was mine just deleted for some reason?

    • They go into a holding pattern until approved. Must Read Alaska is getting hundreds a day and I am getting to as many as I can. If they take a lot of editing for good taste or spelling/grammar, I’m just deleting them. 90 percent of them get approved. – sd

  24. Los Angeles has a terrific solution. Cut off water and power to violators! We also need fines for people not wearing a mask!

    • Maybe you should move to LA, we won’t miss you here at all. And good luck cutting power and water to paying customers, if you want an armed revolt that is one sure fire way to get it.

    • I have a better plan. Those that are concerned about Covid can stay home and order groceries online or have friends or family grocery shop for them. Those that don’t fear Covid can go to restaurants and stores as they like. As for masks, a May 2020 research report for WHO and CDC shows that medical masks don’t stop influenza viruses. Yes, that includes the Coved virus. The report is not a scam since it is available for all to read on the CDC website. BTW, if you support government forcing utilities to cut power and water to free Americans then you should probably find another country to live in since we have what we call Due Process in the United States.

  25. It has been pretty evident that Covid 19 is transmitted by closer contact than diners at tables set 6’ apart. Restaurants in the Matsu valley are open to regular dining except for a bit more space and there has been no significant increase in cases. It’s not the restaurants. It is not the stores. The new overstep by the mayor of Anchorage is useless and damaging. I am glad to see Anchorage citizens stepping up to speak out!

  26. I am a Brit, live in the uk but have a home on the Kenai. Next time I’m over, I’ll make a point of dropping in to Kriners for breakfast.
    Destroying an economy in the name of protecting the public for a disease with such a low mortality rate is unprecedented.
    But, the health of the population has always been the alibi of tyrants.
    Giving my name may now risk me being prevented entry to Alaska, but I’ll take that risk.

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