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 email@example.com, with “Open & Shut” in the subject line.
Warehouse 49: Pop-up gaming center Warehouse 49 opened in February at 1412 W. 33rd Ave. in Spenard, offering Xbox, computer and tabletop games.
Owner Tristan Bellotti describes the spot as a “modern-day arcade." The plan is to use the pop-up as a trial run through at least April.
“We decided to test our networking capabilities, see if we can run a good network for gaming,” Bellotti said. If it goes well, the goal is to become a more permanent fixture and a “nerdy bar” for Anchorage, he said, including drinks and food.
Raising Cane’s: Louisiana-based company Raising Cane’s has made its Alaska debut.
The fast-food chicken finger restaurant had a grand opening March 19 for its new location at 1172 N. Muldoon Road, at Tikahtnu Commons. The company has more than 430 restaurants in the U.S. and abroad.
Alaskans are known to get excited about new national brands coming to the Last Frontier. A YouTube video posted on the restaurant’s opening day shows a long string of cars waiting in line to go through the drive-thru.
Planet Fitness: This budget-friendly gym recently moved into a new spot at the Midtown Mall, just across the street from its old location on Benson Boulevard at Gambell Street.
The new Planet Fitness at 670 E. Northern Lights Blvd. opened in February. The gym needed more space, said regional manager Samantha Hanson, and the new spot is about 5,000 square feet larger.
A gym moving in is the most recent of many changes at the Midtown Mall. REI opened as a new anchor there earlier this year, and construction is underway for a Carrs Safeway store on the east end.
Planet Fitness has three locations in Anchorage.
Clancy’s Billiards: An all-ages pool hall opened in February at 530 Muldoon Road. Along with pool, Clancy’s Billiards offers table tennis, air hockey and foosball.
Owner Michael Clancy used to run Beluga Billiards in South Anchorage. That closed last year. The new spot is closer to, and more accessible for, more of his customers.
“I just decided it didn’t belong upstairs in an office building,” Clancy said. “All my customers were like, ‘I’m on Muldoon.’”
His plan is to add arcade games like pinball and a small restaurant, but “that’s gonna take some time.”
Romano’s: The Italian restaurant at the corner of C Street and Fireweed Lane is closed temporarily for renovations, according to signs that were posted on the entrance as of Thursday.
No one answered when a reporter called the restaurant this week.
Anchorage Wine House: This local wine business has three locations in Anchorage, and the one at 3020 Minnesota Drive has been temporarily closed since January when heavy ice and snow damaged the roof.
Owner Talbot Chang was inside the business on the evening of Jan. 1 when the damage happened.
"You know how you hear the creaking noise when you hear earthquake shakes? That’s the sound I was hearing,” he said Friday. He thought it was another aftershock from the Nov. 30 earthquake. “When I went outside, I noticed everything was peaceful and quiet. It was just the inside of the building.”
After a roof truss broke, melted snow and ice poured inside, resulting in water damage.
There’s a fence up around the property, and the roof needs to be replaced. Chang hopes the Minnesota Drive location — which just opened last year — will be open again by July. The two other Wine House locations, at 1320 Huffman Park Drive and 8841 Jewel Lake Road, are still open.
Bagel Factory: This Midtown bagel spot located in a strip mall at 142 W. 34th Ave. has been closed for about a month, and there are “for lease” signs hanging in the windows.
Jack White Commercial real estate broker Marc Dunne said there are “a couple different restaurant users” looking at using the space, but wouldn’t say who those are.
Popeye’s: The Popeye’s chicken restaurant at 2960 C St. has been closed for weeks. It’s not clear when it might reopen.
“Closed until further notice,” a sign on the drive-thru menu board reads. “Sorry for the inconvenience.”
The phone number for the restaurant wasn’t in service when a reporter called Thursday.