After 32 years, the Sourdough Mining Company has closed the doors to its gold mine-inspired dining room for good.
The Anchorage restaurant, known for its barbecue ribs and honey-butter slathered corn fritters -- served alongside a heaping portion of Alaska kitsch -- announced its closure in a Facebook post Friday.
Travis Block -- general manager of The Peanut Farm, sister restaurant to the Sourdough Mining Company -- said in an interview Monday that the high costs of remodeling the building started "compounding on top of each other."
First built in 1983 and designed to look like Hatcher Pass' Independence Mine -- complete with a replica mine shaft entrance -- Block declined to say what the costs were specifically. He said the business did well during the summer months, but that it was hard to be profitable in the winter without an influx of tourists.
Block began working at the Sourdough Mining Company in 1985 and eventually moved to the Peanut Farm. He said when the restaurant first opened it was always full, with long waits on the weekends. But in the 30 years since, much has changed.
"Those were different times," he said. "There were a lot less restaurants."
Block said The Peanut Farm, which has the same owners as Sourdough Mining Company, is absorbing several of the longtime staff of the restaurant along with some assets. He said a few people were laid off in the closure, but as manager of The Peanut Farm, he couldn't say how many.
Wholesale elements of the Sourdough Mining Company -- including the packaged corn fritter mix and hot buttered rum -- will continue to be produced and sold. He said the fritters would "eventually" migrate to The Peanut Farm menu.
"We're not going to let that go away," he said.
Alaska Dispatch Publishing