Open & Shut: Sonic makes its Alaska debut, plus a new restaurant where Arctic Roadrunner used to be

Alleyway Grille

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, with “Open & Shut” in the subject line.


Sonic Drive-In: Alaska’s first Sonic Drive-In restaurant opens next week in Wasilla.

The Sonic at 2051 E. Sun Mountain Drive — just off the Parks Highway near the Palmer-Wasilla Highway — will have its grand opening on Aug. 20 at 6 a.m., according to a post on its Facebook page.

This time next week, this place is going to look a little different! We can’t wait to see you here!

Posted by Sonic Drive-In on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Oklahoma City-based company has more than 3,600 locations of its fast-food drive-in restaurants around the country.

Sonic’s Alaska debut isn’t the only national restaurant brand news for Wasilla recently. Chicken finger restaurant Raising Cane’s plans to open its second Alaska location there in the fall.

Alleyway Grille: The former home to the Arctic Roadrunner restaurant at the corner of Fireweed Lane and Arctic Boulevard has a new tenant.


The Alleyway Grille opened there about a month ago, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, including Reuben egg rolls, jalapeno corn fritters, milkshakes, steaks and more.

“Everything but burgers,” said manager Josh Christensen. The owner used to run the kitchen at Koot’s, Christensen said.

The plan for the restaurant is eventually to be open 24 hours a day, Christensen said. It’s currently open from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Alaska Massage Clinic: A massage business that has two other locations in Wasilla and Eagle River is on track to open a third in Anchorage.

Alaska Massage Clinic’s new spot will be in the Northern Lights Center strip mall, next to Title Wave Books. Owner Tyan Payne doesn’t have an exact date set for the opening at this point, she said, but she’s hoping it will be in early September.

The clinic offers medical, sports, deep tissue, Swedish and other types of massage.

"Our focus is on medical massage, but our therapists are skilled in all different areas,” Payne said. She wanted to expand to Anchorage because of how productive the business model has been in Wasilla and Eagle River, she said. “I’m looking forward to creating those community connections in Anchorage as well.”

Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse: Next time you’re heading to your gate at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, you might notice a change in one of the restaurant options in the C concourse.

What used to be Pork & Pickle is now a Humpy’s location, Department of Transportation spokeswoman Trudy Wassel said in an email. The change happened about a month ago.

“Pork & Pickle was just not producing,” she said, “so they have the contract with Humpy’s and negotiated moving them to the larger location.”

Humpy’s, which has a restaurant in downtown Anchorage, also still has its location in the airport’s B concourse.


Sno Flo Alaska: This restaurant that serves up desserts, poke bowls and more will close at the end of the month, according to a post on its Facebook page. Sno Flo Alaska’s last day open at the corner of Lake Otis Parkway and East Dowling Road will be Aug. 30.

“It has been an amazing 3+ years at our main shop," the post said.

It has been an amazing 3+ years at our main shop. Unfortunately, we will be closing our doors at our Lake Otis and...

Posted by Sno Flo Alaska on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

While its main brick-and-mortar location is closing, Sno Flo will still serve its food via DoorDash delivery, the post said. It will also still serve from its cafe at 3900 C St. during weekdays.

Dipper Donuts: This doughnut shop in Spenard has been closed for a bit, but it doesn’t appear to be a permanent closure. The business at 1209 W. 36th Ave. is “closed for a few weeks," according to a Facebook post from late May.

Laura Cameron, one of two people who opened the shop in 2017, said Friday she could not comment on what is happening with the space.

Annie Zak

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