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Half Of Grand Aleutian Hotel Restaurants And Bars Close Indefinitely

Hope McKenney/KUCB


The Chart Room and Margaret Bay Café are now closed indefinitely, according to UniSea Hospitality General Manager Brett Richardson.

Despite UniSea's size, Richardson said these restaurants—which operate under the seafood processing company—are still individual businesses, and the coronavirus pandemic has not spared them. In fact, as restaurants and bars located inside the Grand Aleutian Hotel, they've been especially hard hit. 

"The quarantine mandate has reduced the number of guests in the hotel to a very financially damaging point," said Richardson. "And when there's no guests in the hotel, we're not feeding very many people."

Richardson regrets that the hotel will not be able to serve the community in the way it has grown accustomed to, but he said the hotel and its restaurants will have to make some changes in order to stay afloat.

"We'll be consolidating our service into one location: Cape Cheerful, which is open seven days a week," explained Richardson. "And I do want to add that we're available to make accommodations for people who'd like to make reservations for a larger party or if they have children. Cape Cheerful's a bar so we could seat people in Margaret Bay Café." 

Richardson wanted to reiterate that staff are happy to accommodate parties who want to make reservations. He said they are working hard to try to ensure the community's and travelers' needs are still met, but meeting some of those expectations will simply not be financially feasible.

"It's extremely financially difficult to maintain all the services the community has grown accustomed to over the past 28 years," said Richardson. "We're struggling to stay alive at this point. And we want to be of service to the community, but the pandemic and the quarantine are affecting us severely right now."

As an essential business for travelers, Richardson said there's no talk of closing the hotel at this time. Rather, they are working to consolidate those non-essential parts to help soften the blow of the pandemic.

Similarly, Richardson said the restaurants have begun to apply for funding through the CARES Act through the state and the City of Unalaska. Despite that funding, he said, as long as the quarantine mandates stay in place, the future looks uncertain and particularly grim.

"So we're looking at the summer right now as being a test period to see how 'B' season presents itself, and how much support [the essential businesses] need," said Richardson. "And then going into the winter time, we'll reevaluate, as crab season approaches and see what happens with that. But the way things look right now, it's going to be a tough rest of the year." 

For those looking for a finer dining ambience, Richardson said that most of the Chart Room's menu will still be served through Cape Cheerful. 

Cape Cheerful is currently open from 5 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. 

To find a comprehensive list of updated hours for all of UniSea's restaurants and bars, visit the Grand Aleutian Hotel’s website. To make reservations call 581-3844.

Hailing from Southwest Washington, Maggie moved to Unalaska in 2019. She's dabbled in independent print journalism in Oregon and completed her Master of Arts in English Studies at Western Washington University — where she also taught Rhetoric and Composition courses.
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