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Old 08-26-2008, 11:47 PM   #1
AKDuc OP
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Alaska Leather - Out With The Old & In With The New

As many of you know, after 24yrs in the old Quonset hut, Barb decided it was time for an upgrade. I thought I'd put up a picture thread for those interested.

Let's start with the old, shall we? Some have said that the old gravel parking lot actually helped people prepare for dual sport adventuring in Alaska.



Handy motorcycle community bulletin board. Used by many thru the years.


And through the ol front door we go. Everybody make it to the pre-move Blow Out Sale?


Always a friendly greeting by one of Barb's associates such as her sweetheart seamstress Val.


But what would many of us truly be hoping to see upon entering? The lovely and effervescent main lady herself, Barb, of course.


A little farther back into the shop. On the left, boots and gloves.


On the right, clothing and helmets. ATGATT, Barb has always done whatever it takes to get someone into gear. Her motto and bumpersticker: "Don't Ride Naked"


Farther back was command headquarters where many a special order was placed during the early morning hours.


Then out the back and into the repair and storage Quonset.


These photos were taken the last day the old shop was open for business and much had been moved.


MANY isles of shelves overflowing with sheepskins used to fill this area waiting to be cut into world renowned buttpads.


And EVEN farther in the back was the darker and dank area for tire changing and storage. It was now empty and so dark a photo just wouldn't do. Thus ends my post and pics of the old Alaska Leather.

So long you old and drafty but oh so friendly and oft visited location, Mark H.

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Old 08-27-2008, 01:21 AM   #2
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And Now The New

No more Skippers restaurant on the corner of Minnesota and Spenard. It's now the new location of Alaska Leather.



Of course a bit of work needed to be done before making the move. I swear I still saw some grease stains on the floor when I took this shot. I actually liked Skippers. Clam strips, fries, and coleslaw, yummy!



A view of the new and improved corner.


Here's the new entrance. Hey look! A PAVED parkinglot! WOW! How cool is THAT?!?! And would you look at that, there's even an adventure bike in the photo. Yep, that's the mighty little Ninja 250 that advrider grea313, aka Jessie, rode all the way up from California!



Take a look at all the gear!


Yep, the new place is BRIGHT! Vertical walls and WINDOWS!






Oh yeah, there's still the elevated pedestal from which the ever helpful answers to our never ending questions shall be given. And standing there are three very friendly and helpful employees, from left to right, MSF coach and master tire changer Doug, silly fun moto-x'er Noah, and the funfilled lovely Joanne.



In the back is the new work and storage area. Here we find Emmitt and Jim. Sorry, flash didn't go off.


Looking towards the other side of the area and Noah's on the phone. Think he's talking to a pretty girl or taking a sheepskin buttpad order?


And hidden away in the very back of the building thru a 10" thick refrigerator door is the new tire changing and storage area.


Now, for some reason they wouldn't let me take any photos of the new command center. Lots more top secret electronics and such I suppose. Actually they said it was just too messy.

So instead shall we end with a pic of the new restroom? I wish I woulda taken a photo of the old one as many will now appreciate the clean bright and more normal looking new loo. Also, the new larger (and brighter of course) dressing room is also right next to here. I swear I never knew how any XXL rider was able to try anything on in the old place.

Why is there a 'Gift Certificates Available' sign on the restroom door?!? I know it IS still Spenard but for heaven's sake... I guess that's why a pass key is now required to enter said restroom.



Barb and her workers are really excited about the new location, as they should be. It's great.

Big congrats on the new digs. Awesome. Lets go shopping, shall we?

Mark H.

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Old 08-27-2008, 10:16 AM   #3
akmnstr
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Mark, Thanks for the tour. I've been meaning to stop in at Barbs. I need a new zipper pull on my old leather jacket. The new place looks great. What is going to happen to the old buildings?
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Old 08-27-2008, 02:23 PM   #4
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YO Mark...

EXCELLENT thread and photos....curiosity was killin' me...so, really appreciate the photo album. NICE WORK DOOD!
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:01 PM   #5
legion
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Vector and I tore down the signs on the old shop a couple weekends ago. Couldn't help but think at the time that this was one of the early steps in changing the corner permanently. Those two quonsets have been there ever since I can remember and in a year or so there'll be a characterless gas station there or another equally bland glass office bldg.
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:26 PM   #6
friar mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legion
Vector and I tore down the signs on the old shop a couple weekends ago. Couldn't help but think at the time that this was one of the early steps in changing the corner permanently. Those two quonsets have been there ever since I can remember and in a year or so there'll be a characterless gas station there or another equally bland glass office bldg.
Yep Thats what I have seen all over this state in my 37 years here more and more it looks just like everywhere else.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:10 PM   #7
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Too cool...Mark, thanks for the pictures - I dunno how long it'll be before I can make it up there!

Barb - the new place looks AWESOME!
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:48 PM   #8
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Mark, thanks for the excellent tribute to the old quonset hut and great introduction to the new Shop!

Here's to many, many more years for Barb and Alaska Leather and may the love from the old shop have even more room to grow in the new!
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Old 08-27-2008, 10:46 PM   #9
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Nice job Mark. I guess the title of you thread says it all. The new place is nice, in fact real nice, but I'm sure going to miss the last quonset hut I regularly visited. When I was a kid I had a friend who lived in one, and I spent a lot of time warming up after skiing in others. Really, they were all over town. In the 50s and early 60s I'll bet I was in at least one a week. They were an everyday part of life. Early book stores, head shops, resturants and mechanical shops (The Abby?). Guess Anchorage has finely grown up, or perhaps I have. (Oh shit, did I really say that?)

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Old 08-28-2008, 01:28 AM   #10
friar mike
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If you guys a jones-n you can come spend the weekend in the Quonset hut out here and see how nice thay are in the winter. free no charge.
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:42 AM   #11
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A personal tour?

Hope to see Barb and gang Saturday morning, any chance you'll be around for a personal tour Mark?

Cheers from the Road (Whitehorse YT)
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:23 AM   #12
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nice

Sweet, now I have a new Toilet seat to leave up the next time I'am up there.
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:20 AM   #13
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Laugh Thanks Mark

For the great pics! I live like 5 miles from the store and still haven't been in there. I drove through the (nice) parking lot at about 10pm the other evening. Got to get in and see the new place! Congrats Barb!

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Old 08-29-2008, 03:45 PM   #14
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When Will It Stop?

Gezzz.... George's quaint BMW business gets run over, or taken over by Fairbanks HD. Now AK Leather is in a proper building. I better get my return trip in soon before anything else gets modernized.

Just kidding. Barb's shop looks great. Can't wait to stop in again. Thanks for the pics Mark.
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:48 PM   #15
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Are the old buildings the last commercially-used Quonsets left standing in Anchorage? Should be worth a story in the Daily News.
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