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‘Anchorage Adopt a Restaurant’ Facebook group shines spotlight on struggling local restaurants

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 5:38 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Kindness served — That’s the idea behind a new local Facebook group geared towards giving Anchorage residents yet another way to come together and support local restaurants hurting during the pandemic.

Inside Roscoe’s on the corner of 6th Avenue and A Street, you can find Roscoe Wyche cooking up some good ol’ food for the soul. Just as he has been for the past 32 years, but this year’s been harder than most. A local business owner, just like many others, faced with a tough decision — one that’s been weighing on Wyche’s mind even before the pandemic.

“We’ve always been stuck here in the middle, and so people are just driving by and passing by and we’ve been going unnoticed for the past six years.”

Known for his fried catfish and barbecue, Roscoe’s also dishes up seafood gumbo, Greek gyros, fried chicken and more. Although it’s been a struggle to get more Anchorage residents to come try his food for quite some time, Wyche said it’s been especially tough in the past year.

“I thank the hospitality grants. We’ve gotten a couple of those for like $7,000. We got two,” said Wyche. “Then with the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), early on, we got like $16,000. All of those helped out but the bills are piling up.”

A small but mighty show of support thanks to a new Facebook group started by Anchorage resident Tina Mullins offering up a creative way for folks to support local restaurants. It’s called Anchorage Adopt a Restaurant. Every couple weeks several different restaurants are featured, and group members are encouraged to support those businesses and post their experiences.

“Let’s do something positive. That’s one of the main goals of it besides saying, ‘hey, here’s a restaurant.’ We’re saying, ‘this is the owner and they do have a story.’ Maybe place an order, go to visit them, or say hi on their Facebook page,” said Mullins. “Kindness is really one of the things on the group page that I’m really hoping that will emerge more.”

Unfortunately, not all have made it this far, but for those still trying to hang on, it’s a bit extra of hope. “It’s my heart and soul, along with my co-workers, that we put into the restaurant and into the business, and so I don’t want to close,” said Wyche.

Because like Wyche said, what he’s cooking up is food for the soul, and just about everyone’s soul could use a little nourishment, especially now.

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