The Club Paris was originally opened in 1957 by Tommy Strachen . Tommy had been stationed in Paris , France after the war and met his future wife while there . The Paris theme was inspired by his love for not only her , but the city as well . The building was constructed in the late 1920 ’ s and served as many incarnations over its existence . Two of these being a hardware store and a mortuary . Upon opening as the Club Paris , the front of the building was meant to invoke the feeling of Paris ’ s famous sidewalk cafes . Accoutrements included a fake hedge along the front window , an “ awning ” covering the ceiling above , and sconces resembling streetlights providing discreet illumination . The Strachen ’ s owned and operated the restaurant until the mid-1960 ’ s when it was then purchased by the Taylor family . They in turn sold it to Charlie Selman and Don Kueler in 1976 . Don sold his interest in the early 1980 ’ s and the Selman family continues to run the business to this day . Throughout its history the restaurant has maintained a tradition of excellence that is often held as the standard to meet whenever steak and seafood in Alaska are the topic of conversation . The restaurant also was commonly known as the “ White House on 5th Avenue ” because so many deals were struck within its confines during Statehood , the post 1964 Earthquake Recovery , the discovery and production of Prudhoe Bay , and also the planning and building of the Trans Alaska Pipeline .
What sets you apart from other local establishments ?
Primarily our longevity and our commitment to excellence . One of our primary goals is to insure consistency beyond reproach . We strive to make sure that a customer who patronized us years prior can walk through the doors and enjoy the same unforgettable experience that they had initially . This includes service , meals , and ambiance . We are also a Union house and have tremendously talented and experienced employees that have stayed with us for decades . This alone speaks volumes as to who we are as a restaurant and a business .
What is the most popular drink or other menu item ?
Our best sellers are time tested and well proven . Our bar serves a host of old school cocktails that are extremely “ sturdy ”. Some of the more popular being “ Martinis , Manhattans , and Old Fashioneds .
Our most popular lunch entree ’ would be our signature sandwich , The Paris Special . It is an 8-ounce portion of fresh ground filet mignon broiled to order , topped with melted Tillamook cheddar , and served “ French Dip ” style with Beef Au Jus .
Our most ordered Dinner entree ’ is without a doubt the 8-ounce Petit Filet Mignon . It is the tenderest cut of beef available , seasoned our own extremely exclusive and private blend of house made spices . This incredible steak is often paired with King Crab , Lobster , or Shrimp . It ’ s an unforgettable experience and one of the biggest reasons we have been voted Best Steak for over two decades .
What do you like about being a CHARR member ? This can be summed up simply by the motto , E Pluribus Unum = Out of many , one .
Being a member of CHARR allows us keep abreast of the current affairs faced by the hospitality industry . This is particularly relevant during these difficult times regarding the COVID Pandemic .
It also allows us to speak as a block to other regulatory affairs regarding our issues faced at both the state and federal level . This carries more weight than a lone voice in the wilderness . We consider CHARR ’ s efforts and accomplishments crucially vital to our industry ’ s well-being .
How has COVID affected you ?
Our business income has been devastated by the pandemic . When we have been allowed to be open at 50 % the numbers regarding sales and meal count reflect EXACTLY that . Unfortunately , the cost of goods sold , insurance costs , rent , and payroll still come in at 100 %. Those of us in the business know that the profit margin for a restaurant is notoriously low . We make our money on volume and if you add in the months we have been completely closed to our mandated 50 % capacity edict ... Well , the writing is on the wall . We need CHARR to represent and explain our dilemma and hardships to the “ powers that be ”.
As I said before , E Pluribus Unum In this sense , CHARR is crucially vital .