Anchorage adds a Nepali-Indian restaurant, a mead shop, a tropical lunch spot and a “rage room”, as well as an Eagle River shop.
Open and close is an ongoing series Iwatching the comings and goings of businesses in south-central Alaska. If you know of a business opening or closing in the area, send a note to reporter Alex DeMarban at [email protected] with “Open & Shut” in the subject line.
10/6 Room of Rage: At the start of the pandemic, Jessica McClung spent her time researching rage rooms that had arose across the United States
She wanted to give people a fun way to relieve stress. So she took out a $5,000 loan and paid contractors to fortify old offices in a downtown building.
The 10/6 Rage Room was born, at 618 Gambell St.
Participants wear helmets, face shields and coveralls. They wield hockey sticks, baseball bats and maces. They get a safety lesson, then they smash glassware, laptops, windows and other objects in a room protected by plywood.
They do it for cathartic release and, often, for team-building exercises, McClung said. An individual can choose the five minute “Mood Swing”. Groups can reserve the room for up to two hours at $300, the “Off With Your Head” option.
It gets noisy.
“There’s definitely a lot of laughs and sometimes there’s screams,” she said. “And sometimes people feel a little weird, like, ‘Oops, I broke that, but I’m supposed to break that. ”
Global misfortunes like the pandemic and inflation have added to the anxiety, and the Rage Room is a fun outlet, McClung said.
“It frees up some energy and you feel more relaxed and happy,” she said.
The room has been frequently booked since it opened earlier this year, she said. It hosts birthday and wedding parties, corporate meetings and other events. She buys breakable objects in thrift stores.
McClung owns another business that proves useful. “I clean houses,” she says. “But more than that, I now clean the rage room.”
Hive Mind Meadery: Alaska Air National Guard staff sergeant Tristan Bellotti said his friends have always loved his homemade mead.
Two years ago, knowing that Anchorage has a limited mead industry, he decided to capitalize on his experience and open Hive Mind Meadery.
It launched on Friday afternoon, July 15 from its South Anchorage warehouse at 600 W. 58th Ave., Suite A, near Double Shovel Cider.
Opening the business was a “bootstrap” effort, he said. He spent his savings, which were boosted during the pandemic, in part because he saved money on gasoline and other items. He picked up used equipment from breweries.
The sweet drink, sometimes called “honey wine” and made mostly of fermented honey, water and yeast, is easier to make than beer, he said. But it’s usually not as forgiving if you mess up, he said.
At Hive Mind, he will focus on making traditional meads, made without too many ingredients, he said. A popular flavor has been Strawberry Buzz, flavored with strawberries. He plans to have apple flavored mead and other options as well.
Hive Mind opens at noon on weekends and 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. It closes at 8 p.m.
Everest Restaurant: Family and friends from Nepal opened this restaurant to bring Indian and Nepali flavors to Anchorage, said co-owner Bigyan Kakshapati.
“I just felt like there weren’t enough restaurants in Anchorage, especially for Nepali food,” he said.
Dishes include sweet and spicy dumplings, crispy Manchurian cauliflower florets, chicken tikka masala and chicken lollipops, wings marinated overnight with 32 different spices, he said. There is also Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp made with jumbo shrimp.
Kakshapati said he moved to the United States as a teenager about 20 years ago with his family, leaving Nepal’s civil war between Maoist communists and the royal government. His family opened Nepali restaurants in Colorado before moving to Hawaii and more recently to Anchorage, he said.
A former chef, Kakshapati said he hired former colleagues from other restaurants to open Everest. His wife, Palbi Kakshapati, is deputy director.
Everest is located in the former Turnagain Arm Pit BBQ location in Anchorage that closed in May – across from the New Sagaya Midtown Market – at 3637 Old Seward Highway.
Daily hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Aster + Amethyst: Kristin Chandler said the lack of clothing stores in her hometown of Eagle River prompted her to open this boutique and women’s clothing store. It is located in Eagle River at 12551 Old Glenn Highway, Unit C, near the Corks and Hops Beer Bar.
A mother of two, Chandler said too many Eagle River residents leave town to shop in Anchorage or Wasilla. She wanted to give women a chance to get what they need locally, from a nice dress to jeans and a t-shirt, without ordering online or driving anywhere else.
She also wanted to bring variety to the fashion landscape.
“Even in Anchorage in general, everyone wears Costco and Target clothes and we all show up in the same clothes,” she said. “I love my Costco clothes, but when we all have the same Costco jackets, I’m like, ‘Well, we all look really original.’ ”
Chandler said she was trying to serve a relatively young population. She is Eagle River’s only authorized dealer for the popular Pit Viper sunglasses, she said. She also sells jewelry, hats and other items.
The store has a large floor area. As soon as outdoor markets close, Chandler plans to also sell locally made items, from clothes to stickers to cookies, she said.
Chandler said her husband’s garage renovation business has done well during the pandemic as people have made improvements to their household. The earnings helped her open the shop. Aster + Amethyst is named after the birth flower and birthstone of its children.
“Growing up here, I knew that clothing stores were something we always needed more of, and that kind of thing fell into place,” she said.
Palmeira Tropical Fusion: This colorful brunch and lunch spot in downtown Anchorage adds a tropical flair to soups, salads and sandwiches, said co-owner Diego Romo.
Mix of seafood and mango in a ceviche. Chicken tortilla soup is topped with avocado. Spicy pork chilaquiles feature tortilla chips in a chorizo-bacon tomato sauce. Smoothies can include coconut milk and pineapple.
Romo said he and several other restaurant employees are longtime workers in Anchorage’s restaurant industry. They lost hours and revenue amid pandemic-related restrictions for restaurants, prompting them to open Palmeira, at 323 Barrow St.
Romo had tended the bar at Tequila 61. His co-owner and wife, Andrea Cuevas, served at Pangea.
“After COVID, we decided to start our new place,” Romo said. “We invited a whole bunch of friends to work here.”
The small restaurant looks like a cool Caribbean cafe. Servers wear island-patterned shirts. Summer plants adorn the walls. Fruits fill baskets, waiting to be squeezed.
“We wanted to give it a tropical vibe,” Romo said.
Palmeira, which means palm tree in Portuguese, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., sometimes later. It’s closed on Mondays.
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Cold Stone Creamery: The Glacier, an international chain, has opened a third location in Anchorage, in the Northern Lights Center at 1300 W. Northern Lights Blvd. It is located near the Middle Way Cafe.
Phan Le: This Vietnamese pop-up restaurant 817 W. Sixth Ave. closed for the “foreseeable future,” according to its website. It opened this spring.
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