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 firstname.lastname@example.org, with “Open & Shut” in the subject line.
Sears Home & Life: Retailer Sears has had waves of store closures around the country in recent years. But now, three new Sears stores are opening in the U.S., and one of them is in Anchorage.
The Sears Home & Life store at 901 E. Dimond Blvd. is full of gleaming major appliances: washers, dryers, fridges, stoves and more. Its grand opening will be May 24, a store manager said, but there will be a soft opening a couple weeks before that.
Two other Sears Home & Life stores will also open in May, in Kansas and Louisiana, the Illinois-based company announced this month. As the name suggests, the stores will focus on home goods — you won’t find clothes or jewelry counters inside.
The news comes about six months after Sears Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The new stores will focus on “power categories where Sears has a real strength,” Peter Boutros, chief brand officer for Sears, said in a statement.
The Home & Life stores are “part of our strategy to maintain a presence in markets where we have right-sized our footprint," he said. “Sears Home & Life supports our strategic plan to become a stronger, more profitable business and these test stores will enable us to learn and improve as we move forward.”
Kava’s Pancake House: Drive past the old location of Romano’s Italian restaurant at the corner of C Street and Fireweed Lane and you’ll see a banner announcing that Kava’s Pancake House is coming soon.
The Muldoon restaurant business aims to open its second location by June 1, said owner Robert Tofaeono. The plan is for the Midtown spot to be open 24 hours a day Sundays through Thursdays, and also open late Fridays and Saturdays. Tofaeono hopes the busy traffic in the area will make it a viable all-hours spot.
“I know it would do well here, and having the opportunity to come inside Romano’s — it’s beautiful,” he said. “That’s why I decided to try and take a chance on it.”
Romano’s used to have a bar, but the new space won’t serve alcohol, Tofaeono said. Instead, he plans to convert it to an ice cream and espresso bar.
Kava’s also used to have a spot by the corner of Airport Heights Drive and the Glenn Highway, but that location is no longer open.
Matanuska Brewing Downtown: Matanuska Brewing Co. is opening a second Anchorage location at 535 W. Third Ave. where Brown Bag Sandwich Co. used to be.
The space will offer the brewery’s beer, as well as cocktails and food. But the menu will be different than the company’s other locations, said owner Matthew Tomter, because the kitchen space is small.
Opening a location downtown is something Tomter has been interested in for a long time, he said. He aims to open it the second week of May.
Wings 'N Things: This wing restaurant in Midtown has moved just a few storefronts down its block.
Wings 'N Things relocated about three weeks ago to 601 W. 36th Ave., where Crazy Hook Pub & Restaurant used to be. For years, Wings 'N Things was at 701 W. 36th Ave., in a strip mall that’s also home to Uncle Leroy’s Coffee, a yoga studio and other businesses.
The new spot is nicer and has more parking for customers, said manager Eric Smith.