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As Tourist Season Dawns, Anchorage Prepares for New Eateries and Shops

By Shannon Riddle, Weekend Digital Producer
Published On: Apr 26 2014 07:08:35 PM AKDT
Updated On: Apr 26 2014 07:35:55 PM AKDT
Wet Seal

KTUU-TV

ANCHORAGE -

Anchorage residents and tourists alike will get to enjoy some new food and shopping experiences this summer.

On Thursday, the Fifth Avenue Mall announced its plans to welcome a few new national retail stores. Buckle will be opening their doors soon, and are already accepting applications online. LUSH cosmetics is also set to begin serving customers in the near future, although specific opening dates for either have not been announced. Near Nordstrom, construction is nearly complete on the new Wet Seal shop, which is expected to open this spring.

Across town at the Dimond Mall, shoppers are eagerly awaiting the newest eatery, Chili’s. Located in the northwest corner of the mall, it will provide mall goers more options to wet their whistle and carb up for shopping, competing with the recently opened Olive Garden, which sits just six feet away.

“I’m excited! Chili’s has always been a big part of my family’s life,” said Alexander Austin, who works at the mall. “Every month we’d make a night out of it. I’m glad it’s so close now.”

Also opening its doors this summer is Alaska’s first Texas Roadhouse, dusting off from the final stages of construction at Tikahtnu Commons in east Anchorage. Downtown on Fourth Avenue, employees of the soon-to-open Hard Rock Café hurry to make final preparations for their grand opening as the first Hard Rock in the state.

Late last year, three new Krispy Kremes were announced for Anchorage and Wasilla, and rumors ran rampant of the possibility of a Victoria’s Secret at one of the malls. However, a representative of Victoria’s Secret reported they “were not planning to make the addition of any Alaskan stores at this time”.

New restaurants and stores have shown great success in the Anchorage and Wasilla area in the last several years. Dairy Queen was met with traffic-stopping lines in the drive through and inside when it first arrived in 2006. Olive Garden also saw large crowds their first year in Anchorage, with hardly an empty table in sight. Similarly, Cabela's enjoyed a successful grand opening week, something the new Bass Pro Shop hopes to replicate when they open this summer.