The eyes and ears of three very different bars tell us about their normal—and not-so-normal—nights on the job.
Here in the 49th state’s largest city, there’s a saying that goes, “When you’re in Anchorage you’re just five minutes away from Alaska.”
Plopped in the middle of a vast wilderness, Anchorage—a city of nearly 300,000—isn’t typically described with the same effusive prose bestowed upon the state’s magnificent mountains, bays and tundra. Bland, boxy and weather-worn, its essence is cheekily captured by a mysterious Instagram account, @keepanchoragebeige, which features churches, high-rises, even a Cadillac cloaked in the city’s unofficial colorway. Anchorage is a city that wears its flaws on its chest—if not proudly, then at least with painful self-awareness.
It’s said that even during hard economic times, bars don’t suffer, yet in the midst of the state’s years-long recession and following a recent shooting at a downtown bar, some locals have opted rather to stay home. But the recession has also prompted Alaska to invest in tourism, and today the state welcomes more than a million cruise passengers each year. For this installment of PUNCH’s “A Night at the Door,” we spoke with security at three Anchorage bars to find out how they cater to throngs of international visitors and take responsibility for locals’ safety.