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Business is picking up in downtown Anchorage

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 7:56 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - While the pandemic hit the downtown area of Anchorage hard, many businesses are starting to see more people returning and things slowly getting back to normal.

Since the vaccination rollout, people are starting to get out of the house more and the downtown area is seeing some of that foot traffic, and local restaurants and bars are seeing it too.

“I’d say the last two weeks, has been a very steady rise,” said Mike Middleton, a manager at Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse in downtown. “This weekend in particular, has been extremely busy for us. With the bad weather on Friday, Saturday, I think a lot of people stayed in town, and everyone is enjoying being out again, so, a lot of them came downtown, and hung out with us here, which is great.”

Middleton said with the city’s previous mandates, a lot of people would drive out of the Anchorage area to eat, but slowly people are returning.

“I have my staff saying things like, finally things feel normal again, this is the first time it seems normal,” Middleton said.

Another store that is seeing the amount of customers increase is Sockeye Sundry, which is located next to the Pioneer Bar in downtown Anchorage. The Sundry shop is a convenience store that offers things like coffee, shampoo, sandwiches, pizza and more.

J.C. Durante is one of the owners, he said he’s lived and worked downtown for years and that he’s seen the ups and downs. Durante said he and some friends decided to open the shop after being unemployed in December due to COVID-19. They opened the grocery store a little over a month ago.

“I’ve seen the different summers, and last summer was unprecedented by far,” Durante said. “And obviously it’s a global pandemic, that’s why it is unprecedented.”

But he said he has hope that it’s going to be a great summer for the shop as more people return downtown.

“The last week especially, I’ve had more tourists than I’ve had in the first four weeks,” he said. “It’s obviously getting nicer, that time of year, but also, I’m noticing more office workers coming back downtown.”

Sockeye Sundry also offers late-night pizza on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., or until they sell out.

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