Longtime Spenard bar Carousel Lounge to shut its doors this month

A Spenard dive bar with an exterior painted red with black and white stripes in homage to guitarist Eddie Van Halen will soon be no more.

The Carousel Lounge, at 3206 Spenard Rd., will close this month, co-owner Christopher Cox said.

Cox said in an email that the closure is due "primarily to a changing economy," citing other bars in Anchorage that have also shut their doors in recent years.

Over the phone, he explained that the bar's sales had declined and that personal health issues were also a main factor in the decision.

"When you have health issues, it's just compounded," he said. "It's manageable, but it's not manageable for 60 hours a week."

Steve Cooper opened the bar in 1967. Cox said that he and current co-owner Armand Nyborg bought it in December 2003. Cox is the one who added the stripes to the facade, a nod to the signature paint job on Van Halen's guitar and a show of his own fandom.

"When we bought the bar, we wanted to support live and local music," Cox said, adding that Carousel has made it a point to host multiple bands to play most weekends.

The bar's last day of business will be May 15 after a party on the night of Saturday, May 14. On Sunday, Cox said he'll be selling off everything -- pool tables, coolers, even the nacho cheese machine. That's in preparation to put the building up for sale as retail space.

Though the Carousel has usually opened at 10 a.m. to customers, it will be opening at 2 p.m. in its final weeks.

Annie Zak

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