‘We survived it’: Local restaurant speaks about opening after hunker down order

Two of only a handful of people eating lunch and watching sports at Piper's Sports Lounge and...
Two of only a handful of people eating lunch and watching sports at Piper's Sports Lounge and Restaurant after the December emergency order in Anchorage.(Taylor Clark)
Published: Jan. 5, 2021 at 6:24 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The end of 2020 came with the end of Anchorage’s third emergency order that closed dine-in services for all restaurants through December. Now customers are allowed in the booths and tables, but once again at only 25% capacity.

The timing of the last shutdown was cause for concern for many restaurant workers as many found themselves with even less work going into the holiday season. Many stayed open and tried to do what business they could, and some had to close. Piper’s Sports Lounge & Dining was one of the ones that closed and is now serving customers again.

Acting manager David Lucks said the first weekend back was “pretty good.” He said he was glad that football was still on to help draw in some more customers to watch the games in the main dining area.

He said it was a hard decision to close during the latest shutdown because Piper’s is one of those places where the staff has all been working there a long time. They didn’t do many takeout and to-go orders aside from a ‘take-n-bake’ special they had for New Year’s Eve.

“Now we’re open, we’re gearing back up, we survived it,” Lucks said.

As customers arrived, they went through the now common practice of signing in with their contact tracing information. All the tables were set for either two or four with all of them spaced out.

On Monday afternoon, there was one bartender filling orders and ensuring that customers sign the logbook and understood that they were supposed to keep a mask on until she put food or drinks in front of them.

As they follow all the rules and get back in the swing of things, Lucks said he’s reserving judgment on whether or not he thinks the restaurant will have to weather another emergency order that keeps the customers away.

“You never know what the future is going to hold,” he said. “But we’ll just remain positive and hope that we can be a sustainable business and keep everyone employed and keep our customers happy.”

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