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Open & Shut: Anchorage gets an Ethiopian restaurant; Korean barbecue spot opens in Wasilla

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: June 7, 2018
  • Published June 6, 2018

Husband-and-wife team Dawit Ogbamichael and Samrawit Haile run the new Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant at 2813 Dawson St. in Midtown Anchorage.  (Annie Zak / ADN)

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


Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant: Anchorage now has an Ethiopian restaurant, in a Midtown spot where a Somali eatery used to be.

Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant has been open for about a week. Dawit Ogbamichael owns the business at 2813 Dawson St., and his wife, Samrawit Haile, runs it with him. They cook up stews and vegetable dishes served on injera, a flat sourdough bread.

Ogbamichael used to work at the Hotel Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage, where Haile also still works. He realized after talking to hotel guests that there was demand for Ethiopian food in Anchorage.

"They asked me about my accent, where I'm from, and I'd say I'm from Ethiopia," Ogbamichael said. "People would ask, 'Where's the Ethiopian restaurants in Anchorage?' There isn't any. So hey, why don't we open an Ethiopian restaurant?"

Queen of Sheba is open 1 to 7 p.m. daily for now, but Ogbamichael said they plan to be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. soon.

Queen of Sheba, a new restaurant featuring Ethiopian food. (Annie Zak / ADN)

Kim's Korean BBQ: This Wasilla restaurant opened at the end of March at 431 W. Parks Highway, where Loose Moose Cafe used to be. That cafe closed in February.

Mark Collman, who helps his wife, Jane Kim, run the restaurant, said they aimed to fill a gap in the Matanuska Valley.

"We've identified a serious lack of diversified food in the Valley," he said. "Namely Korean food — there was really nothing out here for that. And it's been a good business choice."

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday and is closed Mondays.

Fly Trampoline Park: This trampoline park opened in mid-May at 1841 E. Parks Highway in Wasilla, where Sports Authority used to be. Its parent company, The Alaska Club, has another Fly location in Fairbanks that's been open since 2017.

The Wasilla space also has an arcade, virtual reality games and more.

"We just felt like it was something the community needed. There's not really anything like that out in Wasilla. It's just an active thing," said Tina Tipner, a spokeswoman for Fly Trampoline Park. "It's almost like a mini Dave & Buster's."

The new location is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Eagle Eye Secure Storage: A storage business with two locations in Wasilla just opened its third in Eagle River in a newly constructed building.

The Eagle Eye Secure Storage at 10880 Mausel St. had its grand opening at the end of May.

"We did a feasibility study in 2015 and saw there was a need for more quality storage in Eagle River," said Arty Fonov, general manager for the company. "There's some really good-quality facilities out there but there just isn't enough."

The new location has about 400 units. Construction started late last summer.

Zen Zone Alaska: This Anchorage business, based in a studio in owner Evie Bear's home, uses sound and vibration therapy with a focus on helping clients with things like stress reduction and mindfulness.

Bear, who has worked as a nurse in Alaska for more than 20 years, uses Tibetan singing bowls to make the sounds and vibrations.

"It's used for meditation And the sound is just very soothing. It brings you into a level of awareness for the present moment," she said. "It's a complement to other holistic medicine."


Beluga Billiards: This pool hall at 3841 W. Dimond Blvd. in South Anchorage recently closed but is planning to move, according to its Facebook page.

On May 24, Beluga Billiards announced in a post that it would be closing after 17 years and that its last day would be May 28.

"We will be relocating and plan to reopen by August 1st," the post said, advising customers to "stay tuned for updates."

Partycraft: This party supply store recently closed one of its locations, according to a May 24 post on its Facebook page.

Partycraft's location in Tikahtnu Commons has shut its doors, but the location at 639 W. International Airport Road remains open.

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