Buckaroo Club up for sale, causing issues for adjoining businesses

 The Buckaroo Club bar, located on Spenard Road. Photo by leroy Polk / KTUU.
The Buckaroo Club bar, located on Spenard Road. Photo by leroy Polk / KTUU. (KTUU)
Published: Mar. 28, 2018 at 8:21 AM AKDT
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A bar many Spenard-area residents know and love may be changing owners soon, or else disappearing entirely. It could be yours for the price of $2.8 million.

According to an online listing, the Buckaroo Club sits on top of a 38,000 square foot lot, and houses an almost 10,000 square foot building. The $2.8 million listing will include the lot and the building, as well as the bar's associated liquor license.

Currently, the Buckaroo Club bar, also known as "the Buck" to locals, is a mainstay of the Spenard bar scene.

The bar itself has been around for decades, being established back in the 1950s. According to Linday Sizemore, the realtor working with the owners to sell the property, the current owners have owned the bar for 20 years. Sizemore said the owners feel like it's "time to move on" to other things.

Located at 2809-2819 Spenard Road, the establishment was initially an "old Alaska" dive bar; however, the brand has since gained popularity among a younger demographic, thanks in part to gentrification in the area and the effort to "beautify" Spenard.

The bar offers pool, darts and a sanded shuffleboard table. The listing claims the Buck "caters to people of all ages who enjoy meeting friends after work" or for "a night on the town."

However, the sale does not just include the Buckaroo Club – it includes the whole building, which is divided into quadrants. Two spaces are currently rented to other businesses, one space is the Buckaroo Club, and the other space, which has never been rented, is being used for storage.

Those two other businesses, Pizza Olympia and Bambino's Baby Food, lease their space out of the larger, segmented building long-term. Depending on the buyer, these businesses may have to move locations as well.

"It honestly depends on what the potential buyer wants to do with the space," said Sizemore.

If the successful bid comes from someone wishing to buy into the Buckaroo Club's existing business, then they may continue to lease space to the adjoining Italian restaurant and baby food company. However, if the buyer is planning to re-purpose, remodel or remove the building, which houses both businesses, and develop the large lot for another purpose, then the tenants will need to leave.

"The best way to say it, is heartbroken," said Zoi Maroudas, of when she heard the building was for sale.

Maroudas is the founder and CEO of Bambino's Baby Food. "Through years of building this relationship, and your parents working together with [the owners of the Buckaroo Club], it's really surprising," she said.

According to Maroudas, the first time the other businesses became aware that the building was for sale, was when she saw the ad for it online. She received no calls from the owners.

Maroudas said she recently put "quite a bit" of money into refurbishing and remodeling the Bambino's office and reception area. The company makes baby food on-site, and ships it. Had she known the building was going up for sale, Maroudas said she would have held off on the remodel.

"If I were to have known that this opportunity was going to happen, would I have put the investment in? No, I would not have. I'd perhaps have put it towards the investment of [buying] the building," Maroudas said. "But that goes in with good faith and establishing a friendship and a commitment through the years."

Maroudas founded Bambino's Baby Food in 2013, and her parents founded the adjoining Pizza Olympia almost 35 years ago, in 1985. At that time, Maroudas' parents' goal was toward the so-called "beautification of Spenard," for which they won an award in the 1990s.

Now, it may be an end to the business' lineage in the Spenard area, but Maroudas said it won't stop her or her parents' businesses.

"The fact that my parents have been there for over 30 years... we'll continue to care for the community and feed healthy families," Maroudas said.

The owners of the Buckaroo Club, listed in state business license records as Michael Bell and Allen Cross, did not respond to KTUU for comment.