Grand Slam of Grand Openings for Kenai

Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Last week was a Grand Slam of Grand Openings and Re-Openings in Kenai, featuring two of the City's anchor locations. Arby's and Safeway re-opened with totally remodeled facilities along with the anticipated debut of two new giants to the Kenai Peninsula; Home Depot and Allen & Petersen Cooking & Appliance Center.

Arby's opened their original restaurant location in Alaska at the corner of Bridge Access Rd. and the Spur Highway in Kenai, September 2, 1983. The Navarre family-owned franchise now has 10 stores statewide and has plans for two new stores in Fairbanks next year to make it an even dozen.


Guest Chefs give free cooking demonstrations at the Grand Opening of the new Allen & Peterson Cooking & Appliance Center in Kenai.

Last Saturday fans of the famous Arby's sandwiches celebrated the grand re-opening of the original store entering to win prizes and taking advantage of one-day 1983 prices. "Our twenty year license renewal was up with Arby's, so we updated the building, renovating it inside and out and purchasing some new equipment making ready for another 20 years here in Kenai," said former Borough Mayor Mike Navarre who graduated from Kenai Central High School a few years before his family opened the original store in Kenai. "I started out in the Arby's business when I was 12 years old. My uncle had a franchise in Michigan and I went back there on vacation when I was 12 and ended up working for him a couple days a week at the drive-through," recalled Navarre.

Simultaneously last Saturday the remodeled Safeway, formerly Carr's/Safeway in Kenai, reopened their store with specials throughout the modernized facility along with a visit from the old man who never changes, Santa Claus. Just a few steps away from the giant Kenai Safeway store, the debut of the Allen & Peterson Cooking & Appliance Center was drawing holiday shoppers to their new location.


Santa visits the Grand Re-Opening of the remodeled Kenai Safeway store, formerly Carr's/Safeway.

The Grand Opening of Allen & Peterson featured a free Carnival Cruise for anyone purchasing a full Viking Kitchen as well as demonstrations by professional guests chefs offering free samples. The new Allen & Peterson store will be offering a variety of cooking classes to suit any level of cooking experience. According to store manager Bria Johnston, anyone interested can see a full list of classes at "Our association with the largest buying organization in the country brings us the combined purchasing power of over 1,200 retail stores. This huge buying power is passed along to our customers by means of lower prices on the finest name brand products in the world," said Johnston.


Mike Navarre, Arby's Financial Officer with Oven Mitt at the Grand Re-Opening of the Kenai Arby's.

Wednesday night the countdown to the long anticipated Grand Opening of mega store Home Depot finally reached zero, and there was a sea of cars and headlights at the former Big K-Mart location in Kenai. "I think everybody from the Central Peninsula was there, it was huge and so much fun to be in such a big store with such a big crowd," said one shopper. Scott Hopes of Home Depot credit services said it was twice the turn out they had anticipated and that a lot of people were taking advantage of the discounts with the no interest and no payments until January 2005 offer.

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