LISTEN: ‘There’s no easy decisions,’ says owner of popular Anchorage restaurants

Snow City Cafe on April 3, 2020 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska’s restaurants, with razor thin profit margins, have been hit as hard as any sector shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Restrictions on dine-in service are gradually being lifted, but some restaurants are keeping their doors closed and sticking to delivery or to-go orders. That’s because owners and managers are trying to figure out how much they can, or should, scale back up.

One restaurateur navigating these issues is Laile Fairbairn, managing member of Locally Grown Restaurants, which owns the popular Anchorage eateries Spenard Roadhouse, Snow City Cafe, Crush Wine Bistro and South Restaurant and Coffeehouse.

RELATED: Reopening for Anchorage bars pencils out better than for restaurants. Many are giving it a go.

Fairbairn says the question of when the restaurants will reopen to diners is still a difficult one to answer. She says it all started with some tough calls in mid-March, after the Municipality of Anchorage ordered restaurants to close.


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Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media. cgrove [at] alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8446 | About Casey