FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A Fairbanks night club that’s been deemed a nuisance property has new owners and a new name, but military leaders say it will still be off-limits to local soldiers.
The club, long known as Kodiak Jack’s and the Boomtown Bar and Grill, will be renamed The Spur and Tony’s Sports Bar. It will reopen March 16.
In late 2017, Fairbanks police classified the bar as a nuisance based on a large number of police calls. Then-owner Rick Mensik said he would work with the city to improve security, prompting a renewal of the bar’s liquor license shortly before its sale.
The sale raised questions about whether the local soldier ban would remain in place. Military officials confirmed it will, but the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board will evaluate the ban.
New bar manager and co-owner Jori Clawson said she plans to discuss the policy and her plans for the business at a meeting with Fort Wainwright’s garrison leaders on March 27.
Clawson said making The Spur a country music club in the mold of the old Silver Spur on the Old Richardson Highway will help with the security problems.
“People we knew then and know now have been asking for a place similar to (the Silver Spur), a place for people to go and enjoy themselves,” Clawson said. “It was a safe, wholesome place to dance.”
Clawson plans this week to visit AK Fast Cash, the pawn shop at the old location of the Silver Spur, to look for the old Silver Spur tabletops into which people had carved their names.
Asked whether she plans to hire more security staff to respond to problems in the bar, Clawson said she had other approaches to keeping customers safe.
“That is always a concern any time you look into opening any kind of bar. It doesn’t mean you have to have more staff. It just means you have to have more control,” she said. “Part of control is the music you play and the way you serve your customers. As a bartender, acknowledging that maybe someone is on the edge and doesn’t need to have another one.”