UPDATE: hearing against Kriner’s Diner set for Friday morning

A crowd of several dozen Anchorage residents rallied outside of Kriner's Diner to support them being open despite emergency orders to close.
A crowd of several dozen Anchorage residents rallied outside of Kriner's Diner to support them being open despite emergency orders to close.(Taylor Clark)
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 8:34 PM AKDT
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UPDATE: The court hearing on the Municipality of Anchorage’s request for a temporary injunction against Kriner’s Diner is now set for 10:00 a.m. Friday. The first hearing at noon Thursday ended quickly after Judge Josie Garton recused herself. The judge said she has an economic interest in another restaurant, which she did not name, and while she didn’t view it as a conflict of interest, she removed herself from the case since there was no one representing Kriner’s on the phone conference to waive any objections. The case has been assigned to Judge William Morse who held a hearing Thursday afternoon, but delayed the proceeding until Friday morning after the attorney for Kriner’s Diner requested more time to review the case.

(This is a developing story. Check and Channel 2 News for updates)

Original story:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On the third day of the Municipality of Anchorage’s Four-Week Reset, Kriner’s Diner had a line out of the door, even after getting a Stop Work order from the city. On Wednesday, the municipality said the city will be taking Andy Kriner to court.

Kate Vogel, the municipal attorney, explained that the fines imposed on restaurants violating Emergency Order 15 will be fined $300 for the first day and $600 every day after that. She also said that many assume that because it’s an Emergency Order, it’s not actually a law. Vogel said that is untrue and restaurants opening right now are committing a class-B misdemeanor.

“We are taking those actions quite seriously and we have a menu of enforcement options at our disposal,” Vogel said.

Vogel said so far, Kriner’s diner has received the initial citation and two more $600 fines. Additionally, Little Dipper Diner in south Anchorage also opened Wednesday, and Vogel said they have received their first fine.

Staff at Little Dipper said they were too busy to offer comments when they opened, but people could be seen going in and out throughout much of the day.

While Kriner’s racks up fines, Andy Kriner said his customers have been backing him up.

“I’ve collected enough money for the first three days of fines,” he said. “You know these people wanna help so bad that they’re so relieved. It’s kind of the perfect storm, everybody’s really tired of this, I decided to open. It’s just working out for me.”

Kriner said he didn’t expect to do what he’s doing without getting in trouble.

“I don’t live my life in fear of anything you know? So whatever happens, happens,” Kriner said.

The municipality said the “overwhelming majority of businesses” are complying with the order. Kriner said now that another restaurant is opening up too, he wishes those following suit the best of luck.

It appears that not every restaurant feels the same way about the mandates.

At Altura Bistro, the owner Nathan Bently said he’s doing incredibly well, “breaking records” on his take out orders.

He said his customers support him because they appreciate that he’s following the mandates. He said he’s been working with the municipality to find a compromise and keep the employees and customers safe.

Another enforcement tool at the Municipality’s disposal is to cut off establishments from financial aid. Kriner said he’s not interested in taking on more loans that he’d have to pay back.

Assembly Member Christopher Constant said the restaurants defying these orders are slowing the process of everyone getting back to normal.

He said the assembly empathizes with struggling businesses and is having a special meeting on Friday to authorize the use of $7 million to further aid small businesses.

All this is happening, while Kriner’s approaches their 10 year anniversary on the 10th. While everything is day by day right now, Kriner said he’s planning on being open then too.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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