Open & Shut: A new bike shop in an old fire station, and Paris Cafe relocates

This is an installment of an occasional series in the Anchorage Daily News taking a quick look at the comings and goings of businesses in Southcentral Alaska. If you know of a business opening or closing in the area, send a note to reporter Annie Zak at


Chain Reaction Cycles: A bike shop opened in mid-March in South Anchorage where an old fire station used to be.

Chain Reaction Cycles, located at 1148 Huffman Road, moved into its new space from a previous location just across the street. The new store roughly doubles the shop's retail footprint.

"That space came available as an opportunity and it was one of those things where, it's such a good location," said owner James Stull. "Visibility has been the biggest thing for us."

Stull bought the property from the city last year for $1.2 million, and it's since been renovated. Chain Reaction has been around for more than a decade. Alongside being a retail and service shop, Stull wants the new location to become a hub for community events.

Man Spa: Located at 409 W. Northern Lights Blvd., Man Spa had its grand opening in January. The shop offers haircuts, shaves, massages and more.


"We combine the best of everything you can get at a salon and the best of everything you can get at a traditional barbershop, as well as spa services," said owner Cole Crawford. "I think Anchorage is long overdue for something like this."

Crawford has worked as barber for about three years and decided to open the business to provide not just services but also resources for men.

"If the setting isn't right, they won't be able to open up," he said. "A lot of guys tell me they'd go to the spa more if there wasn't that awkward feminine energy."

Paris Cafe: What used to be called Paris Bakery and Cafe is now simply Paris Cafe. The restaurant left its East Anchorage location at 500 Muldoon Road at the end of March for a new spot at 346 E. Fifth Ave. That's where Sizzlin' Cafe used to be.

Business was declining in the Muldoon spot over the past two years, said manager Petar Aleksic, and strip mall parking there was tough. The owners also wanted a bigger space.

"We wanted to make a really fine dining place restaurant," Aleksic said. "The Muldoon location wasn't too good for that and it needed a lot of (repair) for fine dining. This location is a newer building so we can do a lot more."

Paris Cafe's new spot is open now, and the business is also planning to find a new, separate location for its baking operations.

Anchorage Community House: This community gathering space relocated from a house near Lake Otis Parkway and East Tudor Road to a spot co-located with the Church of Love, a community engagement and arts space at 3502 Spenard Road.

Because the previous location was in a residential property, there were zoning issues, said Meg Zaletel, volunteer director for Anchorage Community House. That brought about the move.

"This opportunity came up and it seemed to solve all the zoning issues," she said, adding that the new space still feels like a house. ACH hosts meetings, clubs, classes, parties and other events.

Mt. Spurr Cabinets: A Kenai cabinet design and manufacturing company is opening a second location in Anchorage. The new design studio at 401 E. 36th Ave. is set to open next week, said project lead Grant McClure.

"We picked Anchorage because it's a little more urban setting," he said. "Our focal point is in serving the more modern, urban frame of mind."

The Kenai location has been open for 18 years.


Kaleidoscape Play Studio: This indoor children's play facility in the University Center mall on Old Seward Highway in Anchorage had its last day March 31. Lori Lester, who owned the business with her husband, said their lease ended with no option to renew it.

"We made a few attempts to move elsewhere and nothing panned out," Lester said. "I honestly think the issue is, the rent is too damn high."

Kaleidoscape opened in 2013 under a different owner, and Lester and her husband bought it in 2016.


Gen-X Cleaner: This dry cleaning and alteration business closed shop at the end of February after 10 years. It was located in a strip mall at 751 E. 36th Ave., at the intersection with Old Seward Highway.

"The lease had ended and also the business was not like the way it used to be," said John Park, the owner. "It slowed down quite a bit."

Blockbuster: The Blockbuster at the corner of Old Seward Highway and Huffman Road in Anchorage ended its rental business this week and is now having an inventory sale as it prepares to close. The sale will run through April, and the store will close at the end of the month.

You can read more about recent Alaska Blockbuster closures here.

Annie Zak

Annie Zak was a business reporter for the ADN between 2015 and 2019.