RJ Johnson

Who made up the rules for Christmas dinner? Turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole are all great, but why do we only eat them at the end of November and December? Part of being an adult means that you can prepare delicious foods like this whenever you want. It also means that when holidays roll around you can choose to eat whatever you like on a day that should be about who you spend the day with, and not which types of food you are enjoying together. 

This year has been especially hard on the bar and restaurant industry as they have been forced to completely close down or restructure the way that they do business for over four months total. When they are allowed to open there are capacity restrictions and extra mandates that no other industry has been forced to follow. Locations such as Table 6 and Alleyway Grill have been forced to close their doors permanently. Many citizens of Anchorage have gone out of their way to support these small businesses and the 15,000 employees that have found themselves either out of work or had hours and gratuities drastically reduced. Employers have given raises and bonuses as much as possible as unemployment has run out and public assistance and grants are not able to meet the needs of those who require it. 

With this being the least traditional year in recent memory, traditions should be thrown out the window for the small and safe gatherings that you might be having for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. In addition, there is no reason to spend hours in the kitchen preparing large meals when so many places around town are offering to-go and delivery. 

Humpy’s is going to be open on Christmas Day and has created their own delivery staff from servers and bartenders that are not able to work in their normal positions. They are offering two different options for Christmas Day with a prime rib or glazed ham entrée and several fixings. They will also be offering platters for New Year's Eve that serve 5 to 6 people. One of the good things that has come out of the pandemic is that restaurants are able to deliver beer and wine as well as food which is a great thing for anyone that wants to have a couple of drinks but not hit the road. The Humpy’s team has an extensive beer menu available in growlers and cans and bottles as well. 

Tent City Taphouse is also able to serve beer to-go with curbside or pick-up options. If your order is more than $50, they are also able to offer a delivery option. For New Year’s they have created a platter menu with hummus and vegetables as well as a charcuterie platter. This holiday special will also include a 64-ounce growler of beer and a bottle of champagne from Louis Roederer Estates. Tent City has made the decision to support local businesses as much as possible so the food and beer offerings are going to support smaller locations right here at home. 

Not everyone likes beer or wine when they are imbibing and some locations have solved that dilemma with cocktails to-go. 49th State Brewing has their own beer, but has also been active in the cocktail game with classics like the Margarita, Cosmopolitan, and Old Fashioned, or get adventurous with the Jalapeño Pineapple Margarita. You simply need to add ice and you can sip away on a fantastic libation with very little labor. 

Spenard Roadhouse also has an extensive cocktail menu available including breakfast favorites like Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa’s, and a Brunch Cocktail basket. The packaging on these items is so beautiful it might just be the perfect gift idea for the person on your list who has everything else they need. The Maker’s Mark Kit, or the French Lavender Kit will be sure to impress anyone who loves a libation. If your friend is a teetotaler you can always get them a gift card with a $20 bonus gift card for every $100 spent. 

As we survive this holiday season at a safe distance from each other it is the perfect year to find happiness and joy wherever we can. If that means having tacos instead of turkey then that is what we need to do. We might be only able to join our loved ones digitally thanks to Facetime and Zoom calls but that does not mean that we aren’t together. 

The employees of bars and restaurants will be more than happy to take care of your needs, even on Christmas Day, because it means a day when they are able to work. 2020 has been a challenge, and while we see the end in sight those that are blessed enough to still have a place to work are filled with gratitude. Show them that you are thankful for them, tip extra, and let someone else take care of the work for you. 


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