- Associated Press - Sunday, October 26, 2014

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - The bears aren’t happy: The Arctic Bar will be closed for three to four months.

The 77-year-old Arctic, home to an infamous logo depicting amorous bears, closed this week to repair pilings that support the structure, according to bar co-owner Paula Weisel. It’s the first time ever the bar has been closed for an extended period of time, she said.

In addition to the structural work, the bar’s interior is being “gutted” and replaced, Weisel said while in the Arctic on Tuesday.

“Every single thing in this bar is going to come out of here,”?she said.

Half a dozen people were busy at work on Tuesday clearing shelves, walls and floors in preparation for the construction, which will begin in the next week.

Weisel is responsible for the Arctic’s interior, she said, while property owners Andrew Taylor and Harold Carson are working on the building itself.

The business will have new floors, a new ceiling and possibly a new layout. Weisel said the location of the bar might switch locations on the floor plan.

The Arctic might have the question of where to put the bar answered by “Bar Rescue,” a reality television show in which a team of people get bars, most of which are failing, back on the right track.

In the Arctic’s case, Weisel wants some layout advice but said it’s “too early” to tell whether the show will get involved.

One feature that will return is the mural painted by Snapper Carson more than 40 years ago.

“The mural has to be taken out, and of course it’s precious to us - it’s coming back - and Snapper will come back and touch it up,” Weisel said.

The hardest part of the next several months, she said, will be attracting customers back to her business.

“With the liquor industry, say you have to be closed for six weeks,” she said. “Most of the customers, they can deal with it. They won’t like it, but they can deal with it. Eight weeks max (or) they’re going to find somewhere else to drink. My job is going to be to get them back here.”

There are a dozen people particularly bothered by the Arctic’s closure - those who still receive their mail at the bar.

“They all had to change their mailing addresses since we have to be closed for this time,” she said, noting there was “at least”?one dozen people who list the Arctic as their mailing address. “Isn’t that crazy? It’s very old-fashioned; that’s the way bars used to do things.”


Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, https://www.ketchikandailynews.com

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