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Open & Shut: A restaurant renaming and downtown doughnuts, plus Denny’s in Midtown Anchorage closes

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: December 14, 2018
  • Published December 14, 2018

Matanuska Brewing Co., at 2830 C St. in Midtown Anchorage. Dec. 13, 2018. (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, with “Open & Shut” in the subject line.


Matanuska Brewing Co.: What was once the Anchorage Alehouse has become a brewpub location of Matanuska Brewing Co.

Though the name changed sometime in November, the ownership has remained the same at the restaurant at 2830 C. St. in Midtown. What used to be called the Eagle River Alehouse is also now under the Matanuska Brewing Co. name. The brewery itself opened last year in Palmer, said co-owner Matthew Tomter. It’s in the former Matanuska Maid bottling plant.

“Our goal always was to re-brand the restaurants into the Brewing Co. once we were ready," he said. He recently sold off the Palmer City Alehouse, which still has that name.

Tomter’s business partner is Kevin Burton, who used to be the head brewer at Glacier Brewhouse and worked there for about 20 years.

Before Matanuska Brewing Co. and before the Anchorage Alehouse, the location was home to Crossbar Sports Restaurant.

Natural Yogurt Selections: This frozen yogurt shop opened in the Northern Lights Center mall in September, and offers vegan and organic options.

After living in South Anchorage, owner Susan Marvin wanted to open her shop in West Anchorage to fill what she felt was a fro-yo void.

“When we moved to Midtown, I just acknowledged the fact that ... somebody needs to open up a yogurt store on this side of town,” she said. “It took probably about a year of whining about that before saying, ‘I should open up the yogurt store on this side of town.’ ”

Marvin thought her storefront at 1300 W. Northern Lights Blvd., alongside spots like Middle Way Cafe, Hearth Artisan Pizza and REI, would be fitting.

“This is a good location because this is where the type of clientele (are) that will appreciate the vegan and the organic options,” she said.

Dipper Donuts: This Spenard doughnut shop recently started selling its goods out of Williwaw at 609 F St., next to the venue’s SteamDot Coffee.

Laura Cameron, one of the Dipper Donuts owners, said she wanted to partner with Williwaw because of the venue’s interest in craft food and craft beer. Plus, the location in downtown Anchorage.

“There’s so much great industry happening downtown, from state and municipal employees, to the legal side with the courthouse,” she said. “(The Anchorage Police Department’s) moving down there, oil and gas companies. It’s just a great spot for meeting those kinds of customers downtown.”

The shop’s other storefront location is at 1209 W. 36th Ave.

Waffles and Whatnot: The owner of the eclectic Anchorage food truck has opened a standalone restaurant in downtown Eagle River.

“I want to have the most culturally diverse restaurant in America,” said Derrick Green, who is putting the truck on hiatus to focus on the restaurant.

Green said his homemade waffles can be designed to suit any taste and his chefs can accommodate any type of diet, food allergy or personal preference.

The restaurant opened last month at 12801 Old Glenn Highway, in the same strip mall that houses Piccolino’s Italian Restaurant.


Denny’s: The Midtown Anchorage Denny’s at Benson Boulevard and Denali Street closed Nov. 29 after 44 years in business.

The main reason was that the business lost the land lease there, said David Fickes, owner of the Denny’s locations in Anchorage. There were other “contributing factors” too, he said.

“I think between the crime levels and the homelessness, Midtown has a lot of work to do,” he said. There’s also a Denny’s in East Anchorage, at DeBarr Road and Bragaw Street.

Yummy Bakery: This bakery at 1300 W. 36th Ave. has shut its doors, according to a sign on its front door Wednesday.

“Yummy Bakery will close the business in December,” the sign reads. "Thank you for your love and support.” It also appears to be selling off its equipment, per the sign.

The Korean bakery used to be on Fireweed Lane, and opened in the Spenard spot in 2008.

Reporter Matt Tunseth contributed to this story.

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