The Kodiak Island Borough Assembly unanimously approved a new liquor license last month for a business called The Hangar to operate at a new building constructed at 1633 Airport Way.
The building, which has been under construction for over a year, is adjacent to the Alaska Airlines terminal at the Kodiak Benny Benson State Airport.
It is owned by Alutiiq Aviation Services, Inc., a corporation under the name of Kodiak Area Native Association Chairman Andy Teuber.
According to Teuber, the building was originally scheduled to be complete by the end of January 2019, but due to unforeseen construction challenges, the completion date has been pushed to December 2019.
Once civil work began on the construction site, a main waterline serving the Coast Guard base was found and had to be rerouted, delaying construction, Teuber explained.
The contractor working on the project, Neeser Construction Inc., worked with subcontractors to reposition the waterline. That project was completed last month, allowing NCI to resume work on the building, Teuber said.
The 11-month construction delay was “disappointing,” Teuber said.
Once completed, the planned restaurant and bar in the new building will operate under AKWA, Inc., another corporation owned by Teuber. Amy Belisle, an employee of Alutiiq Aviation Services, has taken the lead on the completion of the project.
The proposed menu submitted as part of the liquor license application includes wings, halibut poppers, smoked salmon dip, fish tacos and burgers, among other items. Teuber said the menu may change, and that he hopes to include locally sourced products.
“It has to support and sustain itself, so it has to be something that for a traveling community is going to make sense. So short order stuff, but not a greasy spoon type of place,” he said.
Belisle envisions the restaurant and bar serving visitors and residents who encounter flight delays or cancellations, which are particularly prevalent in Kodiak due to weather.
In addition to a restaurant and bar, Teuber said the building will include retail space. He said he has a gift shop in mind, but is open to “whatever would make sense in an airport setting,”
“We don’t want to make arrangements with a tenant that we can’t deliver on, so we’re being very prudent about how those commitments are being made. We don’t want to over-promise and under-deliver,” he said. “We have things lined up but we don’t want to firm those commitments up until our builder can tell us we can have this building complete and ready for occupancy at a certain date.”
The east side of the building, which is farther away from the Alaska Airlines terminal, will house fuel sales, including Avgas and jet fuel. Additionally, it will include warehouse space and cold storage for small and palletized fresh fish, according to Teuber.
Teuber hinted that the building may also include an air carrier, but said it is too premature to discuss details. Teuber owns a certified air carrier helicopter business, but he could not confirm if it will be associated with the building.
The previous building that existed on the property, an old MarkAir terminal, was purchased by Teuber in 2017. The terminal was demolished in the summer of 2018, and construction on the new building began later that year, according to Belisle.
Earlier this year, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported that borough code required additional exits in order to legally open a restaurant in the building. In response, Teuber said that the building’s plans will be changed in order to adhere to the Kodiak borough code.
“What had been originally submitted hadn’t been complete. It wasn’t that we ever intended for there not to be multiple egresses,” he said. “It just wasn’t contained in the original paperwork that was submitted.”
Teuber expressed concern that limited parking space will pose a challenge once the building is complete.
“I can’t imagine that parking won’t be an issue because it’s already an issue. It’s going to be something that will have to be addressed,” he said.
Alutiiq Aviation Service is also the owner of a property on Rezanoff that abuts the Kodiak Christian School. The property is zoned for multi-family dwellings, but there are currently no buildings on that land parcel.
“We don’t intend for it to sit idly by for any period of time,” Teuber said. “When you’re in Kodiak and you see an opportunity, you can either choose to forgo it or you can decide you are going to get involved.
“We want to add value to the quality of life here.”