Peggy's Airport Cafe' Memories

by Michael R Dougherty
(California)

Menu for the first location

Menu for the first location

An Anchorage, Alaska favorite, Peggy's Airport Café first opened in 1944.

Who was Peggy?



She didn't come to Alaska to open a restaurant.

Instead, Peggy came to teach school.

While teaching in Bethel, Peggy met Frank Lott, her future husband. Frank had left his home in England to try his luck during the gold rush.

Peggy's Airport Café' and the Merrill Field Connection



In 1932, a new airstrip was opened in Anchorage. It was named Merrill Field after a well-known Alaska bush pilot.

The new airport was (is) located near the west end of Mountain View.

Then, in 1944, Peggy and Frank Lott opened Peggy's Airport Café in a one-story building across from Merrill Field.

Peggy's new café quickly became a favorite for pilots and passengers using Merrill Field.

And one menu item became a favorite… The pies.

Those Pie Recipes



A lady named June Bowen baked many pies at the café.

And during the 73 years that Peggy's was open, the restaurant used the same handwritten recipe cards that Bowen had written down from Peggy's recipes.

Favorites?

Banana Cream and Strawberry Rhubarb were two of the most popular pies served over the years.

1954, a New Location and Name



n 1954, Peggy's made two significant changes.

The name became “Peggy's Restaurant” and the business was relocated to 1676 E. 5th Avenue, not far from its previous location.

The restaurant was still only a short distance from Merrill Field.

In the new location, Peggy's had a second floor that became a favorite meeting place for local businesses and organizations.

March 27, 1964



Mary of Anchorage Memories, remembers the following story that her mother, Feodora Pennington, told her.

Feodora was baking pies at Peggy's Restaurant on March 27, 1964, when the Good Friday earthquake struck Anchorage.

“My mom told me that when the 1964 earthquake first hit, Peggy Lott and my mom ended up crawling around on the kitchen floor on their hands and knees, dodging pots, pans, and knives that were being tossed around by the quake.”

A Big Change



In 1988, Peggy Lott decided to sell her much loved restaurant.

So Nancy Burley, an employee at the restaurant, stepped up to become the new owner.

One of Burley's first decisions was to keep both the menu and the atmosphere of Peggy's Restaurant. A decision that proved to be a wise one.

Then, in 2023



For 73 years, Anchorage and Alaskans from all over the territory and later the 49th state, had come to love Peggy's Restaurant.

But in 2023, the restaurant closed.

Memories



Now, we can all be thankful that each of us has our favorite memories of Peggy's Restaurant.

What were your favorite menu items?

And oh, those wonderful pies. What were your favorites?



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