Economy hurting local restaurants, AEDC says

ANCHORAGE (KTUU)- The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation reports that the economy is hurting restaurants in town.

Bill Popp, AEDC President & CEO, said the continuing recession has affected the restaurant industry.

"A lot of our restaurant are making it very clear they are having some challenges during these times. Business lunches have become more business coffees," said Popp. "We are seeing customers pull back because of the recession and it has put a lot of our restaurants under a bit of stress."

Leroy's Family Restaurant in midtown has been in business for decades. But, London O'Brian who works at the restaurant says that lately business has been slower.

"It is typically slower this time of year. Every year it seems like it is a little slower than usual," said O'Brian. "But we are very thankful for our loyal neighborhood base, they take care of us."

Popp said there could be a loss in both longstanding restaurants and the new ones in Anchorage.

Jesse McCarty, a managing partner at Bread and Brew, said offering different services, and special items, keeps business busy.

"We are a fast casual restaurant, you come to a cashier they bring your food to you and during the evening we transition to a full-service wait staff," said McCarty.

Popp said, Alaskans going out to eat more often until the summer when tourism season starts again would improve the situation.

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