Anchorage's first Irish Pub, McGinley's, opened in October of 2006. I went to visit about a month after opening. Not very Irish except for what they have on tap. Large and bright with a large selection of brew on tap, including Guiness, Murphy's, Harp, Smithwicks, and a good selection from Alaskan breweries. I tried the Guiness and the Murphy's and they were the freshest I've had in Alaska, even if the bartender didn't know how to pour. Large selection of Scotch and Irish whiskey. No bottled beer available.
Lot's of plasma screens that they hope to show soccer matches on full time. It was American football when I went.
Sandwiches, soups and stews. Had the Guiness stew, which was O.K.
Pool tables and dart boards.
Open till midnight weekdays, 2AM on Friday and Saturday.
Bottom line: typical Irish pub, without the craic.
One of the owners is also the Mayor of Anchorage. So tends to be a conservative crowd some nights. Best to keep your liberal views to yourself.
Returned for dinner this last trip: 5/12. Excellent corned beef and cabbage. My mother would be proud.
Dress Code: None.
At the ground floor of Tower One is the newly redecorated Whale's Tail. And I love what they've done with the place. Very trendy but still comfortable.
The only place in Alaska that has automated wine dispensors where you prepay a card and wander around sampling a great selection of wines with whatever size pour you'd like.
Small but excellent selection of snacks.
We ended up here on Cinco de Mayo (May 5th). All the Mexican restaurants were full and I remembered they had mini-tacos and great marguaritas.
The tequila served was a top end silver fused with either raspberry and tabasco or passionfruit. Tried several of both, had a bunch of mini tacos (fish and beef), and several cheese and fruit trays.
A memorable evening - what I can remember of it.
Dress Code: Business casual.
Located in the Captain Cook Hotel downtown, Fletchers has become my favorite watering hole over the years.
--Great decor - very nautical with deep rich woods and yet elegant. Kind of an upscale pub feel.
--Great liquor selection, from 12 beers on tap and deep wine and single malt scotch collection.
--Great food - from pizza and a ceasar salad to seafood, pasta and steaks.
--Great people. Friendly staff and an eclectic clientel. From locals to tourists to power brokers.
The Captain Cook is owned by Wally Hickel, former governor of Alaska and Nixon's Secretary of the Interior so you never know who you'll run into. Found myself one night sitting with one of our US Senators on my left and a commerical fisherman on my right.
Opens at 11:00AM for lunch and stays open thru the dinner crowd to close between 11 and midnight.
Like their chopped green salad with chicken. Or their bentley burger. Or their pepper steak. Or the Thursday lunch special of lintel soup. Or the pizza and salad combo.
Dress Code: Still Alaska, so anything goes, but most folks tend to dress up a bit. Business casual might be the term I'm looking for.
I never write reviews but this place definitely deserves one....This place wasnt bad until a fight broke out and my friends and I were assaulted by a drunken local. By the time the bouncers actually detained the individual and cuffed them we had already been assaulted both inside and outside the club with the security guards present. Not only did we wait 2 hrs for the cops the security guards somehow "lost" the detained person and they escaped the club in hanfdcuffs! The owner/husband was rude and discouraged us from even waiting on the police and told us we would have to wait outside for the cops if they arrived past closing hours...after we were assaulted in his club. This place is NOT safe and NOT military friendly. I will be telling all of my friends to stay away from this place from now on. DO NOT GO HERE.
This is one of only a few nightclubs in Anchorage that actually will give you the experience of being in a nightclub in the lower 48. Platinuxx Jaxx is easily the nicest nightclub in Alaska. The club has posh, modern decor, 2 large dance floors, plenty of ultra-lounge style seating, & a large VIP area upstairs where you can look down on all the action. You can expect the most attractive, most fashionable people in Anchorage to be there.
Dress Code: No sneakers, jerseys & bandanas.
This is one of the classier nightclubs in downtown Anchorage. The decor is somewhat upscale with comfy lounge area near the front door and upstairs. The upstairs lounge area is huge and you can see the dance floor downstairs which will usually be packed with people dancing to Hip Hop, R & B or Electronic music.
Dress Code: I would say the dress code is casual but use common sense. No jerseys or bandanas. Sneakers are allowed but they should not be scuffed up. Dress to impress if you want to have any luck with the ladies.
When I'm in the big city and getting tired of the yuppies, I sometimes head to Darwin's Theory. Small and a little seedy, many folks from "bush" Alaska stop in for a few beers. Mix them in with a few locals and the occasional straggler tourist and you have a lively group most nights. Prices are reasonable for downtown.
The room is dominated by a "U" shaped bar with just a few tables scattered in the corners. Down a narrow hall on the left is a jukebox and a popcorn machine and a few more table in back. The jukebox has a great mix of music, voted #1 in Anchorage.
A straight forward bar that will give you a chance to meet real Alaskans, hear some real tall tales, and brush up on your conversation skills. Reasonable prices on their drinks as well.
One of the Indigo Girls spent an evening here a few year back and wrote a song about the experience.
Dress Code: Don't wear a tie or someone will mistake you for a lawyer. Very casual.
UPDATE - MR WHITEKEYS RETIRED SEPTEMBER 2006 - FLY BY NIGHT CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE !!! I drove by recently (2/14/08) and still closed.
Every night of the week at 8 PM, one of the best produced and FUNNY musical productions in Anchorage takes place here. Mr. Whitekeys is the owner and the boogie-woogie piano man in the "Whale Fat Follies", a wacky look at life in Alaska, filled with tacky jokes, lampooning of state and local politians, excellent singing, dancing and music. Even if you're not from here you'll get most of the humor but you might want to bring a local
to explain some of it.
Most nights sell out - so book in advance. The club has smoke-free nights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Mr. Whitekeys closes the club down January thru March to regenerate in warmer climes.
The club has a full menu and a decent beverage selection.
Dress Code: No dress code, although tacky works here. Best to keep a low profile so you don't end up part of the show :)
One of my favorites night clubs is Blues Central. Live music every night with a jam session on Sundays. Local, talented, musicians can be found here most nights and occasionally they import. Place is kind of a dive - holds about 100 folks and before the smoking ban it could get hard to breath in. Anchorage has banned smoking in all bars and restaurants as of 2007.
Cover charge is usually around $5.
Place can really get packed, especially after 9 PM.
Food is available and good, but most folks are there for the music and cocktails.
Dress Code: Casual, like most places in Alaska.
This place is absolutely great. It is gigantic with several large bar areas, including a recreation of the infamous "Bird House" bar which burned down many years ago. There is at least one place in the bar for live music, if not several.
Dress Code: This place is casual as all hell, they'd let you in naked, but considering the weather I recommend not trying.
Platinum Jaxx is a great place to go if you want to samply Alaska's night life in a smoke free environment. It is currently the only bar/club that is smoke free.
They do serve dinner and the food is really good but the windows are covered so there is no view. They play club dance music, they have a pool table, good size dance floor and 3 bars.
It's located down town on 5th Ave. close to the Captain Cook.
Smack in the middle of downtown is an unusual looking building, the Performing Arts Center, or PAC. It created quite a stir when built 18 years ago but most folks have come to accept and enjoy it. Home to the Anchorage Symphony, the Anchorage Opera, big name musical acts on tour (i.e. Chick Corea and the St Martin of the Fields Chamber), and even an IMAX theater during the summer. The building has four theaters and a huge lobby. The Atwood Concert Hall has wonderful accoustics and seats 2200. I still get a little dizzy with the wild carpet that was laid throughout the building.
For the Anchorage Symphony schedule, call the Anchorage Concert Association at (907) 272-1471. Tickets can be bought at the box office or at www.centertix.net.
The quality of musicians that play for the Anchorage Symphony is quite astounding. Recently the 2nd chair cello moved back east and got on as 1st chair at one of the larger, well known, symphonies.
Best way to find out what is happening is to stop by the ticket office. Even if they don't have something while you're in town, the staff there is great at letting you know what else is happening in town.
Dress Code: Symphony and Opera nights find a lot of formally dressed folks out in all their finery. But in amongst them are blue jeans and Carharts. This is still Alaska - what you wear still ain't the important thing! And after the concert, head across the street to Humpys and watch the tuxes and carharts dance together.
Located in downtown, Cyrano's is a combination cafe, used and new bookstore, and a small theater for innovative productions. Have been to a number of excellent plays here over the years. Very intimate setting, with perhaps 60 seats. Wine availabe at intermission. Usually an informal discussion with cast and crew after each performance.
A great spot during the day to have a cup of coffee and a snack while lingering over their eclectic book collection.
Dress Code: All types of dressing up and down.
The Bear Tooth Theater's claim to fame is that it serves good food and drinks while you enjoy a movie. It is a movie theater that revamped it's seating so now 70 people can eat and watch and the remaining 400 seats are just for watching. I like the food, especially the gourmet pizzas. A fun atmosphere and it has been a big success since it opened in 2000.
It is also a concert venue. The 2006 New Year's Eve musical act was Big Head Todd - who I'm told by my son is well known nationally?
The operation is part of the Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria and Moose's Tooth Brewing Company. Under 16 not admitted without a parent.
Dress Code: Casual dress.
F Street was a favorite of mine but the last few visits the patrons seemed a lot younger and upwardly mobile. It still draws a crowd, so it must just be me :)
In the shadow of the Hilton Hotel downtown - on F Street (duh) between 3rd and 4th streets.
Places is fairly small and always hoping and the bartenders are beautiful and friendly.
Beer comes in a mason jar - about the only rustic touch.
Usually a 20 lb. block of cheese on the bar - but don't lose your appetite - the food is excellent and you can watch them cook it up.
Dress Code: Casual - but yuppie casual - and you'll blend right in.
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