The Great Alaskan Bush Company is one of the most legendary drinking establishments in Anchorage, in Alaska, the country, oh hell, let’s just say it — The Bush Company is world famous, and with good reason. It is more than just another strip club, always striving to provide the best in entertainment while still maintaining its roots as a classic 49th state saloon.
Started in the late 70’s by Edna Cox, the Bush Company had its first location in downtown Anchorage, and has always maintained an expectation of class, not only from it’s customers, but also from its employees. Described in an Anchorage Daily News article as “a Catholic grandmother, who neither smokes, drinks, nor eats meat,” Edna Cox told people that she was “death on pimps” and cited her reasons being that a woman should not earn her money and then turn it over to a man. This attitude is what has always set the GABC apart from other similar establishments in town.
In the mid 1980’s the club moved from downtown to its current location on International Airport Road near Old Seward. The outside is styled to resemble a saloon, with chainsaw carvings that decorate the large front porch. Inside, the red and gold accents are a perfect match for the mostly wood interior. In one corner is a statue of a man helping a woman into a corset, and a balcony runs around the entire second floor ending at staircases that lead down to the main area. The inside has the look of an old west brothel, while antique advertisements for such businesses decorate the men’s room.
The centerpiece of the entire show room is the rounded stage with a back drop of mirrors and a simple but effective logo that is known all over the state. If you can take your eyes off whichever lady happens to be on stage, and you take a glance up, you will see a lighting, pulley and aerial system that would be the envy of many theatre companies in town. The investment into these high-tech systems has amplified the show quality of performances that are currently done at the Bush Company. The GABC Showgirls do so much more than take off their clothes. Their performances become art as they create characters, begin a narrative, and perform complicated dances that employ the use of aerial silks, lyra, and more.
These performances are now so popular that for some holidays the GABC has VIP events such as Halloween Asylum show, and the Valentine’s VIP event, “Cupid’s Revenge” where the Bush Co. Showgirls will be teaming up with cast members from The Show at ACAL to perform kinky 7 Deadly Sins inspired acts.
If you spend too long staring at the stage, you will miss out on one of the most impressive things that the Bush Co has to offer — its bar. Featuring local beers on draft, and a collection of bottles that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate, the bar at the Bush has every right to take up the entire wall that it does. Equally as impressive is the collection of hard liquor and top shelf bubbly that is offered. It’s really no wonder that the staff of other bars congregates at the Bush on Sunday nights, and let’s each other know where they are going simply by asking if anyone else wants to go to “church.”
Bartender Jessica has been working at Bush Co for 5 years now, and while she loves the money, her real joy comes from getting to interact and talk with the customers. She is a master multitasker working from one long end of the bar to the other and making sure that each person that needs a libation is also having a good time. The girls that work the stage are fan’s of Jessica as well. Dancer Slampa has been working at the Bush Co since March and says, “I have danced all over the West Coast, and this is my favorite club I have ever worked at!” When asked about the bar staff she smiled and said “Jessica is my favorite bartender in town! I am sorry everyone, and it’s stiff competition in this town. I have a lot of bartender friends in Anchorage, but Jessica is my favorite.”
As would be expected, the clientele doesn’t often need complicated drinks when Jessica is working; beers and whiskey are often the majority of what is served, but that doesn’t mean this girl can’t make something special for you if you are thirsty. Her current cocktail is themed for the Valentines Day experience, but she expects to still be serving it in March. A tropical mix of Malibu, juice, Sprite, and Midori, the Lucky Fuck is as beautiful as the bartender that serves it.
The staff at the Great Alaskan Bush Company is part of a legacy of strong women that have made money their way, with no apologies. Next time you are in turn away from the stage for a moment to check out the woman behind the bar and see what you think of the Lucky Fuck.