Open & Shut: Anchorage gets a boutique offering culinary classes and dining, an eclectic vintage shop and a pasta takeout joint, while a downtown pizza restaurant closes

Open & Shut is an ongoing series looking 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 Alex DeMarban at with “Open & Shut” in the subject line.


The Dirty Apron: After the pandemic isolated people, Amy York is using her passion for cooking to bring people together.

This fall, she and husband Geary York launched The Dirty Apron in Midtown Anchorage.

There, private parties or public groups gather in a bright kitchen under the guidance of chefs and bakers.

Everyone cooks together around a large island, using gas stovetops and ovens. They enjoy their meal around a long table, conservations flowing, with wine or beer for adults, Amy York said.

The process creates bonds like few other activities, she said.

“When you cook together, it just lets down a different guard,” she said. “You connect in a different way. You talk about things you used to make with your grandma. Or how your mom always does it this way. Or what you love to do with your kids.”


She said she comes from a large Alaska family that loves gathering for meals.

Geary York, a U.S. Air Force veteran, quit his North Slope oil field job to help run the business. Amy York’s sister, Annie Daniels, handles social media for the company.

A small shop sells gourmet kitchenware and spices, plus speciality oil and vinegar from Europe, available in refillable bottles.

But the kitchen is the heart of the business. “We’re creating community around food,” Amy York said.

The Dirty Apron provides classes for adults, families and kids. Corporations hold team-building cooking events there. The general public can sign up for cooking events at

Popular recipes include duck a l’orange by Julia Childs, and pizza made in small pizza ovens, which the store sells, York said.

The Dirty Apron is located in the Olympic Center at 3565 Arctic Blvd., Suite D3.

Rage City Vintage: Two vendors of secondhand items opened this Spenard store after realizing that they and others needed more than market booths to showcase their work.

“We want to lift up small business artists and vintage curators and give them a brick-and-mortar place to sell their wares,” said Mackenzie Tubbs.

But when Tubbs and fellow owner Emma Hill started hunting for a storefront, they realized rent wasn’t cheap. So they found other small businesses to join them.

The result is Rage City Vintage, providing an eclectic mix of merchandise from dozens of artists, crafters and collectors selling items on consignment.

“We find all the goodies and put ‘em all in one place. They’re just waiting for you patiently,” Tubbs said.

The menagerie includes vintage clothing, art, mirrors, pillows, crystals, plants and the “sickest” graphic T-shirts in Anchorage, a press release said. There are even vintage tooth molds from a former dentist, tarot cards and palo santo for incense burning, Tubbs said.

“We’re a store for weirdos, there’s no denying that,” Tubbs said.

The shop is located in a neighborhood that’s been revitalized with new apartments and upgraded buildings, including the building at 3400 Spenard Road that’s home to Rage City.

The store will be a community gathering space for shows and presentations, including in summer when the bay door in the back gets opened up to sunlight, she said.

“We have a lounge where people sip tea and talk, and then we pop on a record,” Tubbs said. “You can exist here, spend time here with friends, and discuss things that are going on with the world.”


Rage City Vintage will be open daily, closing for the holidays early on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. They’ll close over the holidays and reopen on Jan. 5. After that, the regular hours will be noon to 7 p.m., Thursday through Monday.

Ghost Kitchen: This kitchen off Tudor Road east of the Seward Highway serves meals for takeout or delivery, and bills itself as “multiple restaurants in one location.”

Part of its menu comes from other Anchorage eateries such as Top Bop, delivering Asian food in a bowl at a few dine-in locations around town.

But this is also partly a brand-testing kitchen, where customers can order from menus that could one day become new Anchorage restaurants.

One trial menu is K-Roll, with Korean rice rolls and ingredients such as tuna or beef, wrapped in seaweed, like sushi.

Depending on customer demand, K-Roll might become a restaurant in the future, said Ken Kim, the head of the restaurant management group behind the Ghost Kitchen.

Other trial menus include Hangry Chicken, with popcorn chicken in a bowl, and soon-to-come Wazza, or pizza on waffles.

“Ghost Kitchen is like a brand-testing area, and if I see demand for it in Anchorage,” it can become its own restaurant, Kim said.


Kim, a U.S. Army veteran, inspected restaurants at military facilities in the U.S. and in Korea, where he’s originally from. After growing up in Los Angeles, he moved several years ago to Alaska, where his parents live.

“I decided to visit, and I loved the weather,” he said.

Eat’alia: This new joint in South Anchorage serves quick bowls of pasta and other Italian food for takeout or third-party delivery.

Eat’alia dishes are served at the Ghost Kitchen. But it also opened a physical location in September, said its manager, Kjemal Hasipi, who is a partner in Ghost Kitchen.

Popular dishes include chicken pesto pasta, and Alfredo with chicken or shrimp, said Hasipi, who goes by “Q.” Hasipi said the sauces, garlic bread and other items, including coconut-topped raffaello cake, are made from scratch.

“The customer can customize their own pasta bowl,” said Hasipi. “They choose their own pasta, meat, veggies, sauce and the order is ready to go in five minutes.”

Hasipi’s idea for Eat’alia comes from similar restaurants in southeastern Europe, where he’s from. He realized there was a niche for fast, affordable pasta in Anchorage. He moved here several years ago to be with family.

More people are eating on the go, he said. “People eat at home, in their office or in their car, so that’s why we offered this,” he said.

Eat’alia is located at 1921 W. Dimond Blvd., Suite 112, across Dimond from the Fred Meyer grocery store.

Alpenglow Coffee House: This coffee spot opened in Girdwood in November in a recently upgraded A-frame at the base of the Alyeska Resort ski mountain.

Drinks include turmeric latte and chais. The spices for both are blended in-house, which is unusual for many coffee shops, said manager Kristin Carter.

Good morning, Girdwood. It’s our second morning open and we are here with with all kinds of treats and goodies. Come say hello!

Posted by Alpenglow Coffee House on Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Coffee beans are prepared by Chugach Mountain Roasters in Girdwood, with decaffeinated beans from Uncle Leroy’s Coffee. The shop serves goodies such as breakfast burritos. Some items are baked on site, like scones made daily, and the shop is growing its menu, Carter said.


The shop is next door to Powder Hound Ski and Bike Shop, at 140 Olympic Mountain Loop.

“It’s ski in and ski out” from the mountain, said co-owner Emily Schwing.

“You can literally ski up and get a coffee,” she said.

LUX Infusion Center: This center in Midtown Anchorage provides a range of treatments for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and osteoporosis that causes brittle bones, according to its website.

It offers a quick, small alternative to the hospital setting, Lux said in a statement. With a staff of physicians, nurse practitioners and infusion nurses, it’s located at 510 W. Tudor Road, Suite 1, west of C Street.


Fat Ptarmigan: This popular wood-fired pizzeria with craft cider and beer closed in downtown Anchorage earlier this month, after nine years.


Fat Ptarmigan saw activity slowing in downtown well before 2020, said Tim Woolston, a partner in the business.

The state and Anchorage economies had been mired in recession.

“Then when COVID hit, it was brutal,” he said.

Bars and restaurants repeatedly closed under health requirements. Tourism to Alaska plunged and downtown emptied out.

“We did everything we could,” he said, including temporarily pivoting to a takeout model.

Things were improving this summer, after cruise ships returned to the region. But pandemic-related problems lingered. Finding and keeping workers became harder in the labor shortage, he said. Prices and wages spiked as inflation grew.

The business partners weighed options like expanding or relocating. But they couldn’t find a path to profitability, Woolston said.

“There’s only so much you can charge for a pizza,” he said.

About 20 partial and full-time jobs ended with the closure, Woolston said.

“It’s a really difficult decision and heartbreaking in some respects, because it’s been a labor of love,” he said. “We feel particularly sad for our work crew. Our staff has been amazing and we’re sorry we had to make this decision.”

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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