VIDEO: On the sidelines for last call

From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage –

Nine months ago I sat in the belly of City Hall listening to Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew tell Assembly members what bar break looks like in Anchorage.

“It’s like Disneyland for young adults down there,” he said. “It's a frat party.”

City police spent more than a year policing Fourth Avenue in hopes of reducing closing-time violence. The Assembly voted, twice, to create a new “safety hour.”

But policy-making and public meetings aside, what did bar break really look like? 

"It's kind of funny: a bunch of us old coots trying to figure out a bunch of kids getting out of a bar," Downtown Assemblyman Pat Flynn said in July. "Most of us haven't seen a bar break in a long time, if ever."

Photographer Marc Lester and I spent a few nights this summer and fall covering the 3 a.m. sidewalk and bar scene to get a better look. That’s the focus of today’s story, which ends with the description of a fight outside the Gaslight Lounge. 

Here’s a video of the scuffle, along with a clip of the undercover Anchorage police video described in the story.