Local watering hole approaches 1-year anniversary
By Dan Fox
Having weathered a whole Skagway winter, Happy Endings may not seem so new to year-round residents, but the bar is actually only weeks away from celebrating its 1-year opening.
“It’s been really good,” owner and operator Beth Smith said. “We’ve gotten great feedback from the town.”
Happy Endings – located at the corner of State Street and Fourth Street – started as a concept to separate the late-night shenanigans of patrons in the Station Bar & Grill from the hotel rooms above that restaurant. The result has provided the Station with a family-friendly environment, provided the hotel rooms with much quieter surroundings and provided barflies with a place to get those shenanigans out of their systems.
New to Happy Endings, the cornhole boards have recently been moved right behind the bar. Smith said Happy Endings is running a cornhole tournament through July 12, with another tourney slated to pick up after the first finishes.
“It’s my favorite day of the week, for sure,” Smith said, referencing the Wednesday night cornhole league.
Happy Ending’s hours are 11 a.m.-5 a.m.
The Smoke Wagon BBQ
Handheld barbecue dripping with flavor
By Dan Fox
Opening soon on the corner of Alaska Street and Ninth Street, the minds behind Lil’ Log Cabin Bakery are going to bring a twist to traditional barbecue to the streets of Skagway.
The Smoke Wagon BBQ will be the purveyor of the “BarBurrito,” stuffed with Louisiana-style popcorn rice, southern-style baked beans and a choice of protein – either smoked chicken, carnitas or portabella mushrooms, all smothered with a homemade barbecue sauce and wrapped in a tortilla.
“It’s fantastic,” co-owner Michelle Pierce said.
Knowing that barbecue fans can be quite zealous about their favorite style of barbecue, Pierce said the Smoke Wagon won’t try to mimic established styles, and will instead be its own thing.
Co-owner Michael Swasey said the Bar-Burrito takes the flavor profiles of barbecue classics – like pimento cheese and smoky meats – and rolls them together into a unique meal.
The Smoke Wagon will be its own operation, separate from Lil’ Log Cabin, with different hours in addition to a different menu.
“We’re hoping that we can provide something that people really want,” Swasey said.
Pierce said they are hoping to open the Smoke Wagon within the next two weeks.
When asked what he hopes patrons will get from the Smoke Wagon’s offerings, Swasey said, “Full.”
The Smoke Wagon will be open Thursday-Saturday, from 4-8 p.m. This year Lil’ Log Cabin is also open earlier for breakfast, with hours running from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Woadie’s South East
Same restaurant, but the new owner has big plans
By Tobey Schmidt
Many changes are on their way to Woadie’s South East Seafood, including some healthier options to the menu and hopefully a beer and wine license, said the new owner, Kyle Rush.
Since the previous owner sold them the business in February, Rush and his girlfriend, Brittany Au, part-owner, have been making small cosmetic changes to Woadie’s. Au’s brother built them a new railing and bar, they built all-new signs and hired new employees.
“We just wanted to get our grasp on what was going on when we bought it and so we could really understand the management of the kitchen and the space that we had and then we’ll start trying to implement new ideas and new things for the town,” Rush said. “And just also talking to the community and seeing what they would like to see, what people want, and so hopefully trying to get some things that aren’t deep-fried.” One item that the couple would like to add is a barbecue salmon filet with Cajun seasoning served on a fish taco. Au mentioned that they’d also like to add a few special sandwiches. Within the next year, Rush and Au would like to have a wooden structure in lieu of the current tent that is above the patio. They’re also hoping to score a beer and wine license and start hosting small events with the community.
Woadie’s is open from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday and noon-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
In addition to their regular hours, Woadie’s reopens on Fridays and Saturdays from midnight-3 a.m. for late-night hours.
Gold Dust Jewelers
By Dan Fox
Sitting just off Second Street and Broadway, Gold Dust Jewelers opened its doors May 2.
Owned and operated by Suzanne Kilic, Gold Dust is running on a simple philosophy: customer service.
Kilic said she is pushing a no-pressure sales environment.
“I cannot and I will not put heavy pressure on a client,” Kilic said.
Another part worked into the business philosophy is a desire to give back to the community right away. Kilic has three daughters – Asya, Sahara and Sofia – who go to the Skagway School.
“I’ve got three kids in that school, and if I am going to give anything to anybody in business, I would love to give right back to where we are, and see the money go somewhere important,” Kilic said.
In the center of the store, Kilic has a table of items for sale, from which a portion of the proceeds will go towards the Skagway School’s sports teams.
“People love, the tourists love, to give, so if I can cut a nice big check right as school starts and contribute some of this money that’s coming in…these girls, that’s their life, they love doing this, they love travel,” Kilic said.
Gold Dust Jewelers is open all week, from 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Local, original designs fill new clothing store
By Tobey Schmidt
A new clothing store has opened up on the corner of Fourth Street and State Street, and they’ve got something for the whole family.
907 Clothing is owned by two sisters from Haines: Melissa Ganey and Kaitlin Combs.
“All of our designs are drawn by my sister and each one has some kind of different meaning to her, or us,” Ganey said.
The sisters have been in business for three years now, but have never owned their own store. Most of their clothes were sold out of other shops in Haines. The sisters’ mom manages Jewell Gardens, so they’ve spent quite a bit of time in Skagway.
“We’ve always wanted our own store, so this opportunity was something that we couldn’t pass up,” Ganey said.
In addition to clothes, 907 Clothing also sells blankets, candles, jewelry, etc. They’re open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., seven days a week.
Warm clothes for the chilly Alaskan summer
By Dan Fox
This summer season, Bombay Curry is doing something different.
Due to a personal issue, owner Santosh Wadhwani is temporarily taking his shop into a new market.
Instead of slinging dishes of hot food, Wadhwani is selling clothing, backpacks and other items.
The wares include sweatpants and jeans stitched with unique designs, and Disney-themed apparel to appeal to kids.
The cool summer weather has been helping to drive sales, Wadhwani said.
Wadhwani said he hopes to bring the restaurant back in future seasons, as that is where his passion lies.
“I have built up this business for eight years, and I have a nice local clientele,” Wadhwani said.
The store is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Sunday.
Tacos Skagway Delights
Bringing fast eats to a street corner near you
By Tobey Schmidt
There’s a new food truck in town and they’re selling tacos! Owners Mariya and Robert Silcocks opened Tacos Skagway Delights in April. The food truck is on the corner of State Street and Fourth Avenue, in front of the grocery store.
“It’s a great location, there’s a lot of traffic of people all the time,” Mariya Silcocks said.
Originally from Bulgaria, Mariya Silcocks also works year round at the grocery store, while her husband works at the hardware store. It was Robert Silcocks’ idea to bring more Mexican food to Skagway.
“It’s something different,” Mariya Silcocks said. “It can be our own thing.”
The Silcocks said they try to make their food items with the freshest ingredients they can get, and they try to make everything in-house. The menu includes tacos, quesadillas, burritos, burgers and even chicken nuggets. Mariya Silcocks said it’s a perfect place for locals who work in town, because it’s such a quick option.
“I’m pretty sure we are one of the quickest places to stop by and grab a lunch and be out of here,” she said. Tacos Skagway Delights is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday through Tuesday, and they’re open until 2 a.m. all other days.
The Sippin’ Sasquatch
Same Sasquatch, new owner and location
By Tobey Schmidt
Since this past February, Ashlei Leggett is the new owner of The Sippin’ Sasquatch, though she has worked there as an employee since it originally opened in 2014.
The new location is just across the street from the grocery store, next to The Mountain Shop. Leggett has added paninis to the Sasquatch’s menu and her father built a deck for customers to sit and enjoy their food and views.
“We want it to be a really fun experience for everyone,” Leggett said. “Sasquatch is a really fun character and we really take a lot of pride in our coffee, we want to make good coffee.”
While Leggett says that the Reindeer Dogs are her favorite item on the menu, she also enjoys how unique their Cinnamon Squatch Waffles are. Their menu is mostly coffee and other hot and cold drinks, but they also have hot dogs, chili, bagels, muffins and more.
“It’s local spot where you can come and grab your coffee and then go on a hike, or go on a hike and then come and grab your coffee,” Leggett said. The Sippin’ Sasquatch is open from 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Skagway Spirits Distillery
Local spirits with a classy twist
By Dan Fox
The Heger family has been working hard to bring a new product to the Skagway Community. With an expected opening of June 22, the Skagway Spirits Distillery launched with two locally-distilled liquors and several unique cocktails.
The distillery also serves as a tasting room, where patrons can try a spruce-tip gin and tonic or a fireweed cosmopolitan. The interior of the distillery contains a lot of repurposed history; Janilyn Heger said many items and materials in the business come from bits and pieces of Skagway’s past.
A drinking fountain and chalkboard come from the old school and metal from White Pass operations are around the bar, among other interesting bits of Skagway history.
Lucas Heger, the distiller for the operation, said they are starting with gin and vodka, and will look at expanding into other families of spirits as their operation continues.
Lucas, Janilyn and Gary Heger have been working to bring the distillery to Skagway for almost three years. That time has included lots of dealing with state regulations and taste-testing to really nail down a final product. Lucas Heger said they’ve kept their spirits “classic and simple.”
Skagway Spirits Distillery will be open daily from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. during the summer, with winter hours to be announced.
Grizzly’s General Store
New name, new food, same location
By Dan Fox
Longtime Skagway business Broadway Video has a new name: Grizzly’s General Store.
Andy Miller, manager for Grizzly’s, said the name change was to reflect the nature of what the store has been to the community.
“We’ve been more of a general store than purely a Radio Shack or purely Broadway Video,” Miller said. “We’ve been a mix for years, so we just decided to make it more official.”
Miller said that under its former name, the store has operated in Skagway for over three decades.
“We’ve had a few different locations, but Broadway Video has been here since 1984,” Miller said.
The name isn’t the only thing new about the longtime Skagway business. Miller said the store has been adding more food and drink options, such as a milkshake and smoothie machine, more roller options for hot food and fresh-baked cookies every day. Grizzly’s has also expanded its line of Legos as well.
Miller said the store is still a Radio Shack franchise, and will continue to carry electronic parts and cables.
Grizzly’s is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.