ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Sitting on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Karluk Street, famous for it's pan-fried chicken, hot fries and malted chocolate shakes, the Lucky Wishbone is iconic to Alaska. Behind the restaurant's success was co-founder Harold George Brown.
Brown and his wife Peggy opened the Lucky Wishbone's doors on Nov. 30th,1955.
You could find Brown behind Counter B, having small conversations with every customer who walked in, said Carolina Stacey, long time Lucky Wishbone employee and new Lucky Wishbone co-owner.
Stacey recalls Brown's 90th birthday celebration where he insisted on spending his birthday at the Lucky Wishbone with his family, friends and crew.
"He spent the whole entire day at the restaurant. He had a clicker in his hand and when every single customer or employee would come and wish him a happy birthday he would click it. He was counting how many hugs and kisses he would receive." said Stacey.
Stacey said, "by the end of the evenings his bald head was covered with lipstick and he had collected a total of 200 hugs."
Heidi Heinrich, long time Lucky Wishbone employee and new Lucky Wishbone co-owner, said that Brown was an inspiration to many. "He taught us that quality ingredients, you get a quality product and offering a quality product, creates loyal customers," said Heinrich.
In 1991, Brown made a decision that was risky, controversial and revolutionary for its time and according to Brown's wife, it almost caused a divorce.
In honor of Brown's mother who died of cancer in 1990, he decided to make the Lucky Wishbone the first non-smoking restaurant in Alaska.
Harold George Brown Jr. said, he was so many different things to so many different people but to him, he was my dad. "He loved being known for quality and hard work, the American dream, he was the epitome of the American Dream, said Brown Jr.
Brown was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Peggy, son John, daughter Lorelei and brothers, Leon and Jack.