The Perfect Cup cafe gone as Assembly sits on CARES Act funds



There’s no state in the nation with fewer COVID-19 related deaths per capita than Alaska. Thus far, in 2020, 99.996% of Alaskans have escaped death from the coronavirus. 

And yet Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz refuses to remove his boot firmly pressed against the neck of small businesses. He has no cause to rule with such an iron fist. The man is clearly drunk with power. 

Lifelong Alaska resident Aren Martin is the mayor’s latest casualty. The 42-year- old announced on Facebook on Monday he was closing his restaurant, The Perfect Cup, for good. 

“We could not have survived on delivery and takeout. We need 400-500 people a day to break even,” wrote Martin. 

The Perfect Cup first opened in 1977 in the Northway Mall before moving to the Dimond center 20 years ago.

Its long history abruptly ended on Monday when the Dimond Center bolted the front doors of the place for nonpayment of rent. 

Martin, who has four kids, says his only option was to move to Seattle to live with relatives while he looks for work. 

“I’ve lived in Alaska my whole life, 42-years, and I am very sad that I needed to leave. I already miss home,” wrote Martin. 

Close to 1,000 well-wishers offered their sympathies to Martin and his family on the restaurant’s Facebook page. They also expressed anger with Berkowitz and his never-ending war on small businesses like The Perfect Cup. 

“People need to rise up! The numbers don’t support what is happening,” wrote Stephanie. 

“I’ve been going to The Perfect Cup since the seventies,” wrote Tracia. 

“You can thank that dictator Ethan Berkowitz for your situation. We will all be glad when he is gone,” wrote Rob.

“I have no words. I apologize for not being able to do more,” wrote Assembly Member Jamie Allard, who has opposed the mayor’s rigid lockdown of the city’s economy. “The Anchorage Assembly and Mayor Berkowitz have failed you.” 

Allard has criticized the mayor and fellow Assembly members for allocating such a small percent of the federal CARES Act money that was supposed to help small business owners like Martin who are suffering from the government shut down.  

Allard says of the $156 million the city received in CARES Act money, only $14 million has been used to help small business owners. Allard proposed the Assembly use $80 million for businesses hurting from the lockdown. She says some of her fellow Assembly members balked and even laughed at her proposal. 

The Assembly has allocated CARES Act money to the Anchorage Museum and to build trails even though so many small businesses are on life support thanks to Berkowitz’s war on the private sector using the threat of COVID-19 as an excuse. 

Allard says thus far only 10% of the CARES Act money has gone to help business owners. She says 60% has gone back into city coffers or into the hands of nonprofits. Allard believes the Assembly and mayor will eventually funnel most of the CARES Act money back into city coffers. 

We know Berkowitz and the Assembly are trying to finagle a way to use CARES Act money to make life easier for those wanting to live on Anchorage streets getting drunk and high every day.

The mayor seems laser-focused on buying four properties turning Spenard and Mid-town into “Vagrant Central.”

Meanwhile, our power-hungry, stubborn mayor refuses to ease up on his tyrannical ways.  As a result, The Perfect Cup opened since 1977, is no more. How many more places will close for good? Does Berkowitz realize the longer he waits to open back up the economy the fewer businesses will survive? Does he even care? 

It’s tragic, this game the mayor’s playing. He’s using business owners as pawns in his quest to play the tough guy. He’s causing real pain, suffering, and extreme economic hardship as he wrecks people’s lives. 

Ask Aren Martin, who tonight is reluctantly sleeping more than 1,000 miles away from the place he’s always called home.  

Dan Fagan hosts a radio show weekday mornings on Newsradio 650 KENI.  


  1. Rise up Anchorage! Starting tomorrow every single Anchorage restaurant should open to indoor dining, and Anchorage residents and friends in nearby communities should fill every single seat… day after day after day. The industry must organize and quickly. They need a fund to hire a top tier legal team and launch a series of lawsuits against the mayor and the assembly. Private citizens must do the same. Where are the freedom loving lawyers among us? Help organize our community, do your job, find plaintiffs and file more cases than they can respond to. These marxist judges want to expedite the Mayor’s bidding like they did with Kriner? Fine, give them thousands of cases to hear, it will take them years. Fill these tyrants schedules with lawsuits, depositions and discovery. Fellow citizens, small businesses, community leaders, put so much bait in front of these evil scammers that they can’t possibly keep up. Massive widespread civil disobedience. Show these sociopaths what a peaceful demonstration looks like. It is 300k people living their lives and ignoring this BS. It is past time. This is not a healthcare crisis, this is a democracy crisis. The mayor and his criminal posse have taken and taken and taken; as much and as fast as they can. It is time we stopped them. Everyone must risk something, get out, speak up, get uncomfortable. Be willing to stand your ground. You know this is wrong, you would have to be blind not to see what they are doing through a manufactured crisis. This is our home, these are our livelihoods, this is our way of life. Do not consent to this. If anyone is packing up and leaving town for Seattle, let it be the Mayor and his posse… they should be so uncomfortable here that they want to rejoin their kindred spirits in Seattle and Portland. And for the love of God, don’t eat at South.

  2. So many sad stories emulating from the leftist influences pervading Anchorage’s heartbeat. They are on such a destructive trac! I pray that the voters wake up and take their city back, at the polls in the upcoming election!

    • Dear Einstein,
      Did you know that a full 6% of reported covid deaths nationwide are deaths by covid? The rest are deaths with covid. For example if someone got bombed at Crush, didn’t see the barriers and then ran over a bunch of smug scumbags dining on overpriced garbage, every lump of bloody roadkill would be tested and added to the list of covid deaths if antibodies were detected in the mush. It’s a science fact. Of the 200,000 or so deaths you love to blame on Trump, only 1200 were actually deaths directly caused by covid. At least according to the CDC. But what do they know? Keep watching CNN and ignore the reality around you.

  3. Thanks Dan … there’s always a way to rid the planet of evil and that’s to rise up, stand your ground and fight! People in Anchorage need to do just that. Keep shining the light in the dark places, eventually the boogeyman will flee and be gone for good.
    Jeff in Tok

  4. There’s a protest going on today at the Loussac. 3:30. Protesting the heavy-handedness. Most Assembly and Mayor … losers. Most likely finding a way to line their own pockets.

  5. Does anyone have a list of businesses that the Mayor and Democrat Assembly Members have interest in, so I may boycott?

  6. POS Berkowitz has the responsibility to use CARES money as a bridge for small businesses to survive HIS shutdowns. Instead, he’s trying to illegally spend federal money on real estate to house recidivist drug addicts. The people of Anchorage should be surrounding his house and shouting him awake at night!

    • So sad. I used to always get Chicken Noodle Soup there.
      I think every small business should open up indoor dining full space, no masks required, minor social distancing, and everybody is required to sanitize or wash their hands before eating. That is common sense. I am basically saying that we should disobey Mayor Berkowitz to show him that we are not going to be put up with his crap. We will fight harder than ever. Ml&P shutting down electricity won’t stop anything. That is what backup generators are for.

      • That would do literally nothing to stop COVID-19, it is spread via water droplets people exhale. Hand washing, while useful, is no where near as effective masks and social distancing.

        • You mean the virus with a 99.97% survival rate?
          The virus that in reality only killed 6% of what is claimed?
          Over 94% of the ‘Covid’ deaths were not caused by Covid alone, but other illness or health problems.

  7. Suits Mayor B. just fine. The more cafes and restaurants that go out of business, the more money his restaurants make.

  8. Berkowitz is done….no on needs to even put a fork in him…he has done it to himself with his over reach and outright hate for the folks….and totally agree the Governor needs to be speaking up on these terrible issues the Mayor is cramming down the throats of all the citizens of Anchorage….

    • Done but he got his cash grab. Anchorage business owners need to organize and sue. He should be run out of this state in debt.

  9. There is a diabolical plan for this. Its the Globalists/Marxists making a power play. The first place to start is dismantling our local police forces and then attack small independent business owners. Small business owners are their enemy. Remember Obama’s off-teleprompter comment, “You didn’t build that.” Until we reign in these evil Governors/ Mayors, this will sadly continue. They have no heart or soul, its been sold.

  10. Allard assessment is correct, this is a money grab, it has been a money grab from day one.The mayor constantly derides the state for not giving him more money, while he sat on what they did give him and destroyed the economic ability of people to earn their living. The guy is a criminal and I hope there are people that are in the process of taking him to US court to make him pay for his insane acts of tyranny. It is times like these, I wish I had gone to law school and passed the bar. I wish the rest of the legal community possessed more guts and would go after this guy. Maybe the money is being funneled to prevent such a confrontation.

  11. But you can bet the homeless are taken care of and he contribute a lot to society like walking in the street pooping in the street throwing trash in the street stealing outstanding citizens and brookie is giving money to

  12. Dimond center is not the friendliest or understanding landlords I’m so sorry they locked the doors.
    Hopefully you may Rise above all this start a new somewhere else out side of a mall ??✝️

  13. Take your city back Anchorage. Don’t wait for the feds or the state. They didn’t vote these people in. This is your house. Time to clean it.

  14. What goes around comes around. The ‘short shrift’ ruler of that place formerly known as Anchorage, will have his turn in the barrel, next April. Until then, boycotts are said to be effective, especially with a well knit populace. Too bad we haven’t heard from legal eagles with a plan to ‘disgruntle’ him and buddies sooner, much sooner. It would have been so much nicer and easier for the tiny totalitarian to treat citizens like he wants treated. Instead, what power he does have has been magnified in his leftist mind and supported by like minds of the assembly. Enough to make him think he really is comparable to any number of truly great mayors in many communities. His name will be in the history books alright, but you will find it in the ‘deficit’ column of Anchorage mayors.
    All in all, it’s enough to make a person want to vote. There is the key.

  15. Please stop writing and saying that any business closes “for good”; please say instead that they have closed “forever”.
    Sometime bad people go away “for good” but seldom does a business closing bring us good.

  16. Well said, RISEUP!!!! Certainly there must be some lawyers left in town with brains not destroyed by the cancer of liberalism!!! Business owners, stand up to this tyrant. We the employees will stand with you!!!

  17. “Does Berkowitz realize the longer he waits to open back up the economy the fewer businesses will survive? Does he even care?”
    Of course the mayor realizes the longer he waits to open the economy the fewer businesses will survive. That’s the whole point of the shutdown, to destroy the private sector. He cares about advancing the communist agenda.

  18. Have any of you people commenting been to the Dimond Center? It’s dead. No one is going there. And yet this is the mayor’s fault? You guys are ridiculous.

  19. Closing taxpayer funded city streets for his business partners benefit is obvious corruption and can’t possibly be legal. I would love see restaurant and bars owners join forces and sue him personally for damages. I would love to see an ethics investigation. I would love to see him up on abuse of power charges. I would love to see people crowd his restaurants and take up table space and linger all day over a cup of coffee.

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