The sun is streaming into the kitchen at the Lucky Wishbone, mingling with the scent of fried chicken.
I sit down with Heidi Heinrich, a manager at the restaurant along 5th Avenue, just east of the Downtown core. Heinrich cleans the table leaving the two dollar tip, all in quarters.
"I started here in 1979," she says.
Heinrich was 16 years old when she got the job. Her starting salary was $8.25 an hour, but she loved it here and never left.
"I've gotten to see generations grow up," Heidi said. "Families have brought their kids here, and their kids had kids -- it has been a neat experience watching it."
Later, Heidi hired 16-year-old Carolina Stacey. I asked how long she’d been with the Lucky Wishbone.
"Oh God; it’s going to be 20 years this December," Stacey said. "The story I tell is, my mom asked me how I liked it, and I said, 'Well, I really liked it but I'm working with a bunch of old people.' Well, now I'm one of those old people because I've worked here so long."
The two women feel at home inside the restaurant that opened back in 1955. Heinrich tells stories about the trans-Alaska pipeline days, when the lines for fried chicken, burgers and milkshakes wound down the street.
Pictures of both women as teenagers are on the walls. There are also photos of their kids, who grew up and got jobs at the Lucky Wishbone themselves. Heidi's daughter has been a server here for seven years.
"I love the atmosphere," Stacey said, "the family kind of feel. It's been wonderful."
The owner of Lucky Wishbone, George Brown, still comes in twice a day. The women tell me he is one reason they stayed all these years.
"He's always taken very good care of the people who work here--always," Heinrich said.
Until recently the menu hadn't changed for about seven years, when Brown added a halibut sandwich. Recently, Heinrich and Stacey finally got Brown to add a chef salad to the menu.
Lucky Wishbone is one of those classic old-timey Anchorage restaurants, where you'll probably run into a politician having a drumstick and fries for dinner -- a place people who've left the state always come back to when they visit town.
When they’re here, they always make sure to chat with Heinrich and Stacey.