Rural Alaska

America's northernmost city to get its first fast-food chain outlet

Utqiaġvik will get the world's northernmost Subway sandwich shop early next year, the first major fast-food chain to set up shop in the city formerly known as Barrow.

Franchisee John Masterson, speaking Thursday via phone from Connecticut, where he was in between Subway training sessions, said the restaurant would open in late February or early March.

Masterson said plans to open a Subway have been in the works for years, and he's hoping to give Utqiaġvik residents a healthier restaurant option.

"A place like that kinda needs a change, because all they they have up there is Chinese, pizza and sandwiches. That's pretty much what everybody in town serves," he said. "It's just a healthier food item, for healthier living and things like that."

[Town formerly known as Barrow already in court over new name]

Masterson is one of three people associated with Arctic Subway Barrow LLC, the business opening the restaurant, according to the state commerce division. Ed Foster and Justin Petersen were also listed as officials, but Masterson said Petersen was no longer involved. Masterson said paperwork noting the change was still pending with the state.

Masterson said part of the reason for the soft opening date was making sure everything gets shipped to the city on time. Shipping will be the biggest challenge of operating so far north.

"It's just part of doing business in the Arctic," he said.

Suzanna Caldwell

Suzanna Caldwell is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in 2017.