Tacos on the Tundra–up in flames :-(

Thursday, we had an even more exciting trip to Walakpa, which really messed up my back, so I was pretty much flat on my back when not actually working.  I was going to do a post about that this morning, but when I woke up, there was very sad news.  Pepe’s North of the Border burned to the ground last night.

All that's left of Pepe's

All that’s left of Pepe’s

The remains

The remains

Top of the World Hotel in the background

Top of the World Hotel in the background

Burned beams

Burned beams

The bank building almost caught on fire too.  Great save NSBFD!

The bank building almost caught on fire too. Great save NSBFD!

There was some damage to the Top of the World Hotel, including the destruction of the entrance.  As you can see, the bank building nearly caught fire as well.  It’s charred and a lot of windows are broken, but the North Slope Borough Fire Department managed to save it.  Much credit to them.

Fran Tate, who started and owns Pepe’s is quite ill, and in Anchorage for medical treatment.  She’s donated a lot to her adopted hometown (free meals for school sports teams, food for bereaved families, fund-raising for children’s hospitals, just for starters) and here’s hoping some way can be found to help resurrect Pepe’s.  We are going to be hurting for restaurant seats and catering here in Barrow if not.


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8 responses to “Tacos on the Tundra–up in flames :-(

  1. Dennis H. O'Rourke

    What a tragedy! The end of an era and an institution. My heart felt sympathies to Fran and Joe. And to the citizens of Barrow.

  2. Good luck on recreating Pepe’s! A restaurant that has been around for a long time becomes so much more than JUST a restaurant.

  3. Oh goodness! Sending healing thoughts to Fran and prayers to her and Joe. I can’t imagine Barrow without Pepe’s!

  4. What an awesome effort by the NSBFD! This could have been so much worse given the close proximity of the downtown buildings….the photos indicate they kept it very enclosed, so assume the winds were in their favor, instead of the usual this time of year. Wow, what a trained team.

  5. Oh no! I really hope that it can come back soon.

  6. People have started leaving flowers by the Pepe’s location, like they do at the scene of a fatal accident. It really was more than a restaurant.

  7. So Sad to hear this, I worked there as a cook in ’88, still have fond memories of the place and Fran.

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