Open & Shut: An ax-throwing spot, a new Midtown Carrs, another Raising Cane’s and more

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.


Alaska Axe Co.: What appears to be Alaska’s first indoor ax-throwing venue — think darts but with hatchets — opened last month at 2520 E. 68th Ave. near Lake Otis Parkway.

Co-owners Isaac Cortez and Raymond Mata wanted a place where people could throw axes for fun and competitively in league competition, Cortez said.

“People come in to release stress, or they just want to throw,” Cortez said.

Safety lanes with wooden targets can be rented by the hour, Cortez said.

The space is available for private events. For safety reasons, throwers must be 14 and older.


“We’ll teach you how to throw axes — that comes with the lane rental,” Cortez said.

Raising Cane’s: The Louisiana-based chicken finger restaurant chain appears poised to open a restaurant in South Anchorage after first arriving in the city this spring.

The company plans a new restaurant at 849 E. Dimond Blvd., north of the Dimond Center mall, according to permitting records filed with the city of Anchorage.

The chain opened a restaurant at Tikahtnu Commons in northeast Anchorage in March.

Another Raising Cane’s location in Wasilla at 1431 E. Parks Highway will open next month.

Carrs Safeway: The grocery chain’s new store at the revamped Midtown Mall (formerly The Mall at Sears) will open in November, said Tairsa Cate Worman, a spokeswoman for the company.

She did not say specifically what day the store would open. She said a “community celebration” is being planned for the site along the Seward Highway.

Pedro’s Mexican Grill: The new restaurant opened in August at 1565 Bragaw St., Suite 103, in East Anchorage.

It serves traditional food seven days a week, said owner Manuel Tafoya Ramos.

That includes enchiladas Michoacanas, with a special red chili sauce based on the dish from the state in central Mexico, homemade tortillas and flan, essentially a baked custard.

Denali Pretzels: The new pretzel-based snack shop will open in the second week of November in the south terminal at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, before security.

Travelers can order pretzels, sauces and coffee from an espresso bar serving Kaladi Brothers coffee. They can also pre-order Krispy Kreme doughnuts for their flights through an arrangement between the companies, said co-owners Ryan and Sasha Manzek.

If someone wants to, for example, deliver dozens of doughnuts to an event in Bethel, they can order at, Ryan Manzek said. The doughnuts will be packaged for carry-on travel.

Denali Pretzels will offer old-fashioned pretzels, pretzel sticks, pretzel-crusted chicken strips and other fare. Locally made dips will include Midnight Sun Brewing beer cheese and Trapper Creek smoked salmon dip.

The company plans to open a second, smaller concession space, after security, in the same terminal in December. The pickup doughnuts won’t be available there, and drip coffee will be the only coffee available initially, rather than a full espresso bar.

Biscuitclub: Downtown brunch spot Biscuit Betties closed in September at 333 W. Fourth Ave., Suite 117, but Biscuitclub has risen in its place.

The new owner, Haleena Hanson, purchased the equipment from the previous owner and rebranded the store. The theme generally remains similar, with opening hours during breakfast and lunch that include a full espresso bar.


Biscuitclub offers “scratch biscuits and gravy” of different varieties, such as the LaBamba, which includes chorizo, eggs and diced green peppers, said Hanson.

New is the karaoke setup so customers can sing while they wait, Hanson said.


Bagoy’s Florist and Home Midtown location: The floral arrangement and gift company, a nearly century-old business, closed its Midtown outlet last weekend to consolidate services at its main location in South Anchorage.

“We’re not going anywhere,” said Chanda Mines, longtime co-owner. “We’re at our strongest point in history at 97 years now.”

Online retail is growing, stoking deliveries and pickup, she said. The company realized it could operate more efficiently out of the single, larger store at 8250 Homer Drive north of the Dimond Center.

No jobs will be lost, Mines said.



Peppercini’s Deli & Catering: The catering business will be leaving the University Center mall in mid-November and opening at 239 E. 26th Ave., south of Fireweed Lane.

The new location will offer takeout food and free delivery, but not the sit-down dining that existed at the University Center.

The change will allow Peppercini’s to increase capacity and meet demand for catering, said owner Jason Kimmel. No jobs will be lost with the change, he said.

“We are going to miss seeing our dine-in lunchtime customers, but our need for more kitchen space and greater capacity overrode our love for our restaurant," he said.

Alex DeMarban

Alex DeMarban is a longtime Alaska journalist who covers business, the oil and gas industries and general assignments. Reach him at 907-257-4317 or